The GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst presents 600 exhibits by over 60 designers from the collection of the married couple Inge and Wilfried Funke in its Art Deco pillar hall. In view of the more than 10,000 individual objects from the Funke collection, which the GRASSI MAK brings together under around 2,500 inventory numbers, this is a seemingly small but varied selection.
Image above: Coffee service ‘Urbino’, porcelain, cast, glazed with sponge-dot décor Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (KPM) (execution), Trude Petri (design form), Enzo Mari (design décor), Berlin (place of manufacture), 1947 (form), 1995 (execution, décor).
For many years, the collecting couple repeatedly donated smaller convolutions to the museum, but finally bequeathed their entire collection to the GRASSI MAK. Inspired by a visit to an exhibition dedicated to the designer Heinrich Löffelhardt (1901-1979) at the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe in 1980, the couple sought to continuously collect and meticulously document the ‘Good Form’ propagated by the German Design Council, especially after the Second World War – a moral demand on consumer goods and a taste-educational programme for the buying public.
Thus, in almost 40 years, one of the largest collections of 20th century industrial design was created. Century: Starting with the designs of Löffelhardt and Wilhelm Wagenfeld, the couple collected the Bauhaus and Werkbund designs of historical predecessors such as Hermann Gretsch, Wolfgang von Wesin, Marguerite Friedlaender or Trude Petri, did not disdain the organic post-war kidney table aesthetics of the Rosenthal designs of a Beate Kuhn or Hanns Hoffmann-Lederer, sought out works by Wilhelm Braun-Feldweg, Günter Kupetz or Hans-Theo Baumann, wandered into Scandinavian design modernism with names such as Tapio Wirkkala, Stig Lindberg or Jens Harald Quistgaard and finally beyond with legendary designers such as the Czech Ladislav Sutnar, the Briton Robert Welch or the American Gerald Gulotta – tableware, vases, cutlery, furniture, lamps, appliances.
The GRASSI MAK brings together more than 10,000 individual objects from the Funke Collection under around 2,500 inventory numbers. With around 600 exhibits, the exhibition shows a lot, but only a small section of this multifaceted collection. Nevertheless, the show seeks to trace the development of this collection in order to repeatedly address the phenomenon of ‘collecting’ itself – a burden and a joy at the same time.
Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst
Saturday, 05 November 2022 – Sunday, 08 October 2023
Tue-Sun, public holidays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed on Mondays, 24 December and 31 December.
Free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.