Please note the changed opening hours of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 16 April 2024. More


Porcelain for the Palaces of Frederick the Great

15.06.2012 to 29.09.2013
Schloss Köpenick

During the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) Frederick II had Prussian troops take control of the Meissen porcelain factory and ordered scores of highly coveted porcelain works be produced for his court. In 1761 he encouraged Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky (who became a leading merchant and financier in Frederick II's reign), to set up his own porcelain factory in the Prussian capital Berlin. But when this commercial venture was poised to fail, the king swiftly decided to take over the production site and in 1763 established it as a royal factory, with the royal sceptre as its trademark.

Frederick II fostered an almost patriarchal relationship with his porcelain and in many instances personally intervened in decisions on form and décor. The sculptor Friedrich Elias Meyer, a pupil of Johann Joachim Kändler, was the factory's most skilled and adaptable model master. With the help of his brother Wilhelm Christian, he raised the factory to great status. Particular emphasis was placed on the production of services. They were produced, mostly for display purposes only, for specific palaces. The décor of these palaces was often directly reflected in the services. The king himself became personally involved in decisions on form and décor and encouraged the development of particular colours, of which 'bleu mourant' (pale or 'dying blue') is the most famous, closely associated with the Prussian court. Frederick soon also began to effectively exploit the value of porcelain works as diplomatic gifts. All these aspects of Frederick II's influence on porcelain production are brilliantly illustrated by works from the Museum of Decorative Arts' own collection.

The exhibition is being held as part of a wider series of events called 'Art - King - Enlightenment', coordinated by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in honour of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Frederick the Great on 24 January 2012.

Schloßinsel 1
12557 Berlin

wheelchair accessible

S-Bahn: Spindlersfeld
Tram: Schloßplatz Köpenick
Bus: Schloßplatz Köpenick

Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue closed
Wed 11:00 - 17:00
Thu 11:00 - 17:00
Fri 11:00 - 17:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours
Summer half-year April – September: Wed – Fri 11 am – 5 pm, Sat, Sun 11 am – 6 pm

Winter half-year October – March: Thu – Sun 11 am – 5 pm

Schloss Köpenick Kunstgewerbemuseum
6,00 EUR Concessions 3,00
Kunstgewerbemuseum Schloss Köpenick
Buy ticket

Annual ticket Classic Plus all exhibitions
100,00 EUR Concessions 50,00
Classic Plus: all exhibitions

Museum Pass Berlin 3 days for permanent exhibitions
29,00 EUR Concessions 14,50
3 days for permanent exhibitions
Buy ticket

Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

from just 25,00 EUR

Annual Passes for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Tel 030 - 266 42 42 42 (Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm)
Questions | Bookings | Feedback

Related Links

Website 'Art - King - Enlightenment'