Like the journeyman craftsmen of old, the Gipsformerei (Replica Workshop) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is off to display its skills to the world. As part of the exhibition, "Handmade in Germany”, it is sharing a travelling platform for Germany’s finest hand-craft producers, which will take it around the globe.
Over a period of several years, 100 exhibitors will have a chance to present their wares in 15 destinations, in a show curated by the Direktorenhaus in Berlin. The Gipsformerei will be sharing the floor with such firms as Rosenthal and the mechanical watch-makers Nomos Glashütte. The first stop is St. Petersburg (19th to 28th September 2014, on Nevski Prospekt). Among the pieces to go on tour are the bust of Nefertiti, the Prinzessinnengruppe by Johann Gottfried Schadow and busts of Schiller and Goethe. "There were strict criteria for selecting the objects to take,” explains Miguel Helfrich, Director of the Gipsformerei. "They had to be world-famous and connected with German culture.” Other considerations were technical complexity and historical interest - many pieces are made from historic moulds.
"We want to promote an international awareness of the Gipsformerei as a producer of first-class museum replicas,” explains Helfrich, "and we are also looking for introductions to potential buyers and to people in the press or cultural and political circles who will spread the word about what we do.”
After St. Petersburg, the exhibition will be visiting Moscow, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Rome, amongst others.