Jewellery Room. Wolfgang Skoluda
Like fashion, jewellery is one of the most important badges of personal expression. Its functions range from magical protection against evil forces and the representation of status and membership of a certain social group to the unfettered expressiveness of handmade author’s jewellery, which shows off the creative bent of the individual wearing it. Jewellery was and is a means of communication. The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) has an extensive collection of jewellery that spans four millennia. One of its focuses is on antique jewellery, while another is on piec-es from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The collection reflects the great diversity inherent in jewellery-making from the great classic works of traditional goldsmithery to avantgarde tendencies and the original creative expressions that in the 1960s began to develop into an independent artistic genre. The Arts and Crafts Fair, which has been an annual event at the MKG for more than 130 years, making it one of the oldest arts fairs in Germany, provides an important platform for contemporary jewellery every year. Here visitors can sharpen their appreciation of skilled craftsmanship, the proper way to handle materials, and experimental approaches and new concepts relating to form, colour, and material. In future the MKG intends to make jewellery more of a highlight for visitors to the museum and is establishing a new exhibition room for this purpose. The jewellery collection will be given a new contextual setting in individual, group, and themed exhibitions and will be linked in with current discourses on the subject. The Hamburg jewellery designer Wolfgang Skoluda (born 1935) will kick off the new exhibition series. Since 1959 he has shown his work at the annual fair on a regular basis. Skoluda’s material of choice is gold and he has a particular fondness for antique gems, stones, and minerals. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s bracelets, which are part of the MKG collection as well, represent a significant source of inspiration in his work and, in common with this great expressionist artist, Skoluda also taught himself to make jewellery. His work is a perfect symbiosis of ancient and modern and as such will naturally enter into dialogue with objects from the MKG’s Antiquities Collection.