This year marks the 275th anniversary of Munich’s Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. The company has won international fame for its fine porcelain, which is pure of form and entirely handmade. Porcelain is a refined, high-quality material, timeless and lasting yet simultaneously delicate and fragile.
In the mid-18th century Europe was seized by porcelain fever. Dealers had been importing Asian porcelain since the 16th century, but it took Europeans a long time to figure out how to make it. Once they did, every king and emperor sought to distinguish himself with his own porcelain factory. Bavarian elector Maximilian III Joseph (1727–1777) was no exception, founding a workshop in 1747 that soon became famous: Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.
Innovatie, avant-garde, kunst en design
The company’s reputation rests largely on the master modellers who have left their mark on the brand over the years. In addition, Nymphenburg has always been an innovator. Between its avant-garde business vision and its long tradition of craftsmanship, the factory has established a solid reputation in the art and design worlds. Nymphenburg continues to seek out interesting collaborations with today’s artists for the purpose of creating contemporary porcelain. It has partnered with the likes of the artist Damian Hirst, the photographer Nick Knight, and the prominent Dutch designers Hella Jongerius and Viktor & Rolf.
Thematic and stylistic links revealed
Over the centuries, Nymphenburg has successfully adapted to changing tastes in style and subject matter. In its focus on subjects including mythology, human beings, nature, and foreign cultures, it shares common ground with the Groninger Museum’s highly varied collection. Objects from the two collections will be presented side by side in the Starck Pavilion, some on unique coloured plinths designed specially for the show. Thus, their historical and visual links are further explored in an unexpected way.
The exhibition was curated by Marieke van Loenhout and the guest curator and Nymphenburg collector John Veldkamp. It is the duo’s second collaboration, following the successful show Pronkjewails – Design from Past and Present.