Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hungarian silver from Heller collection on view in MAK Frankfurt

Lidded jug, 1605. Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt / Sibiu) 
© Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt 
Since earlier this year, the gold and silver collection of István Heller has been on view at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt. István Heller has amassed an exquisite private collection of European goldsmith works, which had been shown at previous exhibitions and was published in several volumes by Hirmer Verlag. After a succesful career in medicine, Heller trained as an art historian late in his life, and at a mature age successfully submitted a thesis for a doctorate in the history of art - he is also the author of the books introducing his collection. István Heller has decided to make his collection accessible to the public through a permanent partnership with the Kunstgewerbeverein in Frankfurt am Main, thus the collection will have a place at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt in perpetuity. A total of 615 objects were placed in the Museum.

The Heller collection contains high-quality gold and silver objects, ranging in time from the mid-sixteenth century to the twentieth, largely from Central European centers of goldsmith art. All the important German centers of gold work are represented, as well as – for biographical reasons – those of Hungary and Transylvania. One of the four volumes mentioned above was dedicated to goldsmith objects from this territory in the collection. In the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt, this magnificent collection will be permanently housed in a room of its own in the Historische Villa Metzler. The tasteful exhibition setting allows the visitor to trace the principles of ornamental design from the Renaissance to Art Nouveau.

Flask with lid, 1670. Neusohl 
(Besztercebány / Banská Bystrica)
© Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt

This text and the images are based on the press release issued by the MAK Frankfurt (and also available in German). You can find an image gallery at

If you are interested in such collection of gold and silver, you may want to read my earlier posts about the recent sale of Hungarian and Transylvanian goldsmith objects from the Herzog collection, or about the goldsmith objects which entered the Metropolitan Museum last year from the Salgó collection (see also part II and part III).

1 comment:

  1. I love a number of the visual arts but I am passionate about gold and silver. If your photos are representative examples, the Heller collection really does contain superb art objects. My favourites would probably be from the 17th century, particularly from Nuremburg and Augsburg. But I would marry Heller in a heartbeat, to have these treasures readily accessible.