The Staatliche Antikensammlungen (State Collections of Antiquities) in the Kunstareal of Munich is a museum for the Bavarian state's antique collections for Greek, Etruscan and Roman art. The Bavarian state collection of Ancient Egyptian art is traditionally placed in its own museum. Also Roman art from Bavaria is on display in a separate museum, the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection. The Staatliche Antikensammlungen museum however is complemented by the sculptures collection, which is located in the opposite Glyptothek.
History of the building
The neo-classical building at Königsplatz with Corinthian columns was established in 1848 as counterpart to the opposite Glyptothek and commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I. The architect was Georg Friedrich Ziebland. Already from 1869 to 1872 the building housed the royal antiquarium before the Munich Secession resided here from 1898 to 1912. From 1919 the building contained the New State Gallery. The museum building was severely damaged by bombing in World War II but was reconstructed and reopened to the public in the late 1960s to display the State Collection of Antiques.
The State Collection of Antiquities is based on the Wittelsbach antique collections, especially the collection of attic vases of King Ludwig I. In 1831 his agent Martin von Wagner acquired pottery from the archeological excavation in Vulci, his agent Friedrich von Thiersch purchased by auction the antiques from the estate of Lucien Bonaparte. The king acquired also antique gold jewellery from the collection of Caroline Murat, Etruscan bronzes excavated in Perugia and Greek terra-cottas from South Italy.
After the king's death in 1868 his collection was united with the Wittelsbach antique collection which was founded already by Albert V, Duke of Bavaria. Later the museum got extended by purchase and donations. Among these private collections are the donations of Paul Arndt (1908), of James Loeb (1933), and of Hans von Schoen (1964). These comprehensive collections specialised in smaller antique objects, glassware, bronzes, terra-cottas, jewelry, gold and silver. During World War II the museum lost especially Etruscan pottery, which was stored in the bombed Neue Pinakothek.
The internationally renowned collection of antique pottery is outstanding, comparable only with the collections of the Louvre and the British Museum. The Mycenaean pottery is represented as well as the pottery from the geometric, the archaic, the classical and the Hellenistic period in Greece. The museum exhibits artworks of the most famous Greek potters and painters like the Amasis Painter, Exekias, Archikles, Glaukytes, the Penthesilea Painter, the Andokides Painter, Oltos, Kleophon, Phintias, Euphronios, Euthymides, Epiktetos, the Pan Painter, the Berlin Painter, Hieron, Makron, Douris, the Brygos Painter, the Acheloos Painter and Lydos. The collection contains numerous masterpieces such as the Belly Amphora by the Andokides Painter.
The Standing Woman is a notable statuette of terracotta (Boeotia from the crossing of 5. by the 4th century B.C.). An outstanding example for antique jewellery is the gold Funerary Garland from Armento (4th century BC). A famous Roman Goblet from Cologne made of reticella (or network) glass (4th century AD) still shows its Latin inscription BIBE MULTIS ANNIS (Drink many years yet!). It was a present of the City of Cologne in return for King Ludwig's support for the completion of Cologne Cathedral.
Part of the Staatliche Antikensammlungen is also a comprehensive collection of ca 800 engraved gems donated by Helmut Hansmann (1924-1996).
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