Green Jacket in exhibition

Fashion in Renaissance Nürnberg

In Nürnberg they have an amazing collection of dresses and other items of clothing, which is usually hidden away. Now for the first time in decades 50 costumes are shown as part of special exhibition, In Fashion.

Dress of Katarina von Lippe
Dress from the grave of the four-year old Katharina Gräfin zur Lippe, 1600 From Italy © Detmold, Lippisches Landesmuseum

The Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) is for the first time presenting its internationally significant collection of clothing of the Early Modern Age in a large-scale special exhibition. Around 50 costumes from the period from 1560 to 1650 are exhibited in the context of contemporary paintings and graphic art works. In addition, the exhibition features rare pieces of everyday clothing from the 16th and 17th centuries, including the finds – on show for the first time – from a tailor’s workshop in Bremen, as well as needles, scissors, thimbles and clothes brushes.

Clothes have always played a central role in self-expression and individual identity. The exhibition brings together rare original textiles and representative likenesses from international museums. It shows clothing and fashion in their diverse social contexts and makes them decipherable as part of the material culture as well as in terms of their social and image-specific symbolism. The historical items of clothing permit an up-close view of shapes, materials and styling. The complementing paintings illustrate the original effect of the clothes and the way they were worn, which then, as now, reveals a person’s place in society. The exhibition also addresses the question of how reliably the preserved items of clothing bear witnesses to the past, because the originals have rarely survived the centuries unscathed.

The exhibition is supported by international collections, with loans from, for example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna or the Royal Armoury, Stockholm, which owns and has generously lent a doublet dating from 1610 which is preserved as individual tailored pieces and is a unique document of historic tailoring practice.

The pieces, some unique across Europe, are currently being scientifically processed and restored in a research project. A corresponding collection dresden is also currently undergoing restoration.


Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg
Kartäusergasse 1
90402 Nürnberg
03.12.2015 – 06.03.16


Pamphlet: In Mode. Kleider und Bilder aus Renaissance und Frühbarock


Katalog in Mode - CoverIn Mode. Kleider und Bilder aus Renaissance und Frühbarock
Hrsg. von Jutta Zander-Seidel. Projektleitung und Konzeption: Jutta Zander-Seidel unter Mitarbeit von Anja Kregeloh.
Germanisches Nationalmuseum Abt. Verlag, Nürnberg, 2015.
ISBN: 978-3-936688-96-2


360 degrees videopresentation of some of the exhibited costumes


Rublack Dressing Up CoverDressing Up (Book Review)

The First Book of Fashion

A selection of the outfits of Matthäus Schwarz may be seen here

See the video presenting the project

Read a review of “Dressing Up”