Since antique times, movable furnishings for the home (i.e. furniture) have played an important role, both in the arts and in society: chairs and armchairs, benches and sofas, beds and tables and chests, cabinets and screens not only fulfil a function but also symbolise their owners’ status and wealth through form, material and artistic workmanship.
The MAKK showcases outstanding European examples from the Middle Ages to the present. Richly inlaid folding chairs, as well as chests and cabinets with iron fittings represent 15th century living culture; tables and cabinets lavishly decorated with figurative elements illustrate the artistic skill of Renaissance furniture makers.
Richly inlaid tables, chests of drawers and clocks created by courtly French cabinet makers, Abraham and David Roentgen’s magnificent marquetry furniture and the designs going back to Karl Friedrich Schinkel are the beacons of baroque and classical furniture.
The historicism of the Empire period is represented by neo-renaissance and neo-rococo pieces and by masterpieces from the Cologne Pallenberg manufacture.
The many-facetted European art nouveau movement is manifested in the furniture and room concepts created by designers ranging from Henry van de Velde and Louis Majorelle to Josef Hoffmann.
Twentieth century stylistic pluralism and the era of modern design start with Frank Lloyd Wright’s or Gerrit Rietveld’s innovative furniture concepts, with Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann’s luxury French art déco furniture and with Marcel Breuer’s or Le Corbusier’s revolutionary tubular steel chairs.