Ancient Art

The Antiquities Collection comprises 5500 artefacts from the ancient Near East, Egypt as well as Greek, Etruscan and Roman art dating from over four millennia.

European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

The Collection of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture comprises over 30000 artworks dating from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque to Classicism.

Baroque to Classicism

Die Sammlungen Barock bis Klassizismus umfassen kirchliche und weltliche Zeugnisse aus Hofkunst und Alltagskultur des Barock und Rokoko sowie Meisterwerke des Klassizismus, die vom Zeitgeist der Aufklärung geprägt sind.


The Design Collection of the MKG reflects more than 200 years of history in the area of design. The collection includes objects from the beginning of the 19th century.

Photography and New Media

The MKG began to collect and display photography from the late 19th century. It was one of the first German museums to do so. Today the collection comprises well over 75.000 works.

Modern Art

The term modernity describes the gradual emancipation of the liberal arts starting in1800, and the artists’ disengagement in the context of their traditional patrons: church, state and court.


The poster became one of the leading ways to disseminate information and a popular type of pictorial media throughout the world in the 19th century.

Graphic Art

Different to other Departments of Prints, Drawings and Photography the Graphic Art Collection of the MKG focuses on applied graphic art that serve a purpose in everyday life, such as drawings and prints.

Art Nouveau

The MKG’s Art Nouveau collection is one of the most important in the world. It’s origins date back to the turn of the 20th century, when specific and farsighted acquisitions were made.


The Ceramics and Porcelain Collection of the MKG is one of the largest in Germany. This high-calibre collection with ca. 11,000 objects ranges from Antiquity to the present.


Die Modesammlung des MKG umfasst mehr als 10.000 Einzelteile an Damen-, Herren- und Kinderkleidung einschließlich Wäsche und Accessoires.

East Asia

After the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in Berlin and the Museum für ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne, the East Asian Collection of the MKG is the third most important collection of its kind in Germany.

Islamic Art

Second only to the collection at the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin, the Islamic collection of the MKG is the most important of its kind.

Musical Instruments

The emphasis of the Musical Instrument Collection, which contains more than 700 objects, is on musical instruments that stand out due to their exceptional artistic or technical design.

Period Rooms

As a museum of the applied arts; the MKG boasts a great number of complete period rooms. They range from a Renaissance-guildhall parlour to a Rococo salon and music room to a contemporary model kitchen and the legendary Spiegel canteen.

Permanent Collection

The MKG’s collections have been gathered over generations. Today it is a universal museum, presenting over 500 000 works showcasing human creativity and inventiveness at their best. The high calibre collection spans over 4000 years of human history from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism to Modern Art and the present. In 1872 a bouillon cup from the royal porcelain manufacturers in the French city of Sèvres received the first inventory number; today it is part of the Ceramics Collection. Since then, the collections of the museum have continued to grow consistently through acquisitions, gifts and bequests. The MKG’s collections are internationally oriented, with particular emphases on European and East Asian art. They unite the three world religions: Christendom, Buddhism and Islam. Furthermore, this interdisciplinary museum is characterised by comprehensive collections of Graphic Design, Poster Art, Photography, Fashion and Textiles. An exceptionally active acquisitions politics in the early days of the museum ensured that it is now caring for a preeminent Art Nouveau ensemble of furniture and objects. The Period Rooms, too, are a special attraction. Presenting media, furniture and all kinds of objects together, these rooms illustrate the lifestyle of diverse epochs. The Milde-Speckter-Rooms represent bourgeois living during Classicism. With its Gründerzeit concert room splendour the Hall of Mirrors remains a social centre of Hamburg today. In 2012 Verner Panton’s dazzling Canteen designed for the SPIEGEL Publishing House, an icon of Pop Art, is being installed at the MKG. The Musical Instruments Collection, too, is unique - the precious historical instruments are regularly played in concerts and during guided tours, and resound around the museum.