When the very first glassmakers melted sand and ash, the result must have seemed like a miracle. From mean raw materials they succeeded in producing brightly coloured gemstones. Since then, more than 3,000 years have passed; but to this day, glass continues to fascinate as a material both in high technology and art.
The history of the artistic approach to glass, from ancient Egyptian ear pendants to the sculptures of contemporary artists, is told in the Glasmuseum Hentrich. A special collection with few parallels in the world, it is tied into the rich context of the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Glasmuseum Hentrich originates in the collection of the Düsseldorf Museum of Arts and Crafts that existed from 1883 until 1927, when the major part of this collection was transferred to the present museum. During the following decades, the glass collection developed a profile of its own. Beginning in 1961, the Düsseldorf architect Helmut Hentrich donated his treasures of ancient and Art Nouveau glass to the museum in annual installments. In 1990, the glass department was renamed “Glasmuseum Hentrich” in his honour.
Due to Helmut Hentrich’s special interest, glass from the Art Nouveau period became the museum’s major emphasis. It became significantly enhanced, when Gerda Koepff decided to bequeathe her superb collection to the museum. Due to these two outstanding donations, Düsseldorf today has one of the most important and best researched Art Nouveau glass collections in the world.