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Call for Papers - Pioneers of Design Education


„Learning with Objects. Schools of Decorative Arts and their Educational Collections“

14/15 June 2023
Schloss Köpenick / Dépendance of the Museum of Decorative Arts – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Organized by the research network „Pioneers of Design Education. New Perspectives on German Schools of Decorative Arts before the Bauhaus,“ Museum of Decorative Arts / Design Campus, Dresden State Art Collections, in cooperation with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Museum of Decorative Arts.


The research network „Pioneers of Design Education. New Perspectives on German Schools of Decorative Arts before the Bauhaus“ is located as a Design Campus Lab at the Museum of Decorative Arts of the Dresden State Art Collections and is dedicated to the history of schools of decorative arts in the long 19th century. This year’s network conference will deal with educational collections that were created at schools of decorative arts for the technical and artistic education of students, but also for the interested public.

During the conference, the extraordinary variety of teaching aids such as decorative art objects, pattern sheets, student works, plaster casts, publications, photographs, material samples, patterns, preparations, and models will be examined. The aim is a better understanding of the genesis, parallels, and differences, as well as the use of site-specific collections at various stages in the history of schools of decorative arts. Relevant aspects for the collections’ formation are the acquisition of teaching aids through regular trade, exchange and donations, as well as in-house production in school-owned workshops. At the same time, temporary teaching aids such as living plants and animals or the human model are of interest. 
The research network invites scholars to submit abstracts for a twenty-minute presentation by March 31. Insights into the organizational structures of the collections of teaching materials are appreciated, e.g. in separate departments, school libraries, affiliated museums of decorative arts, or special collections supervised by subject teachers. In addition, the canon for the educational collections can be negotiated, which sought not only to show technical and stylistic masterpieces of art and decorative arts as well as local characteristics, but also to depict all other facets of the designed and to-be-designed world. Praxeologically, the dependence on teaching concepts is to be considered, which changed considerably in terms of copy, model and source of inspiration until the beginning of the 20th century. Furthermore, a comparison with study and reference collections e.g. at drawing schools, art academies as well as universities will be aimed at.
The lectures will be held on June 15 in presence at Schloss Köpenick in Berlin. The conference will start on June 14 with excursions to remainders of the former educational collection of the „Unterrichtsanstalt des Kgl. Kunstgewerbe-Museums Berlin.“

The conference is being held in cooperation with the Museum of Decorative Arts of the Staatliche Museen Berlin, which is organizing a conference on June 16 accompanying the special exhibition „Electrifying! Electroformed Replicas of Artistic Goldwork.“ The technique of electroforming, which allows object replicas to be made in metal, was used in the late 19th century for example to produce teaching aids for schools of decorative arts. Approximately 100 electroformed replicas from the museum’s founding period will be on display again for the first time in the exhibition.

Please send your abstract for a twenty-minute presentation by March 31, 2023

Flat plaster models for composing plant arabesques, in: Adolph Stuhlmann: Der Zeichenunterricht in der Volks- und Mittelschule, Hamburg 1876