The Frankfurt Kitchen In the presentation “Elementary Parts: From the Collections”

since 23 November 2017

It changed the concept of home living and is considered a prototype of the modern fitted kitchen: the “Frankfurt Kitchen”, designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Following careful restoration measures, an example of the legendary kitchen has now made its way into Elementary Parts: From the Collections, a permanent exhibition of Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst.

Over the years, the role played by Frankfurt and the surrounding region in modern design has been an ongoing focus at the Museum Angewandte Kunst. In 2015, the museum was presented with the opportunity to make a new addition to its holdings: a complete and largely unchanged historical “Frankfurt Kitchen” from the Bornheimer Hang housing estate in Wittelsbacher Allee. The kitchen’s owner, the ABG Frankfurt Holding, placed the kitchen on permanent loan to the museum. The museum’s conservator Christian Dressen supervised the complicated task of removing it from its original site in its entirety. The restoration work that followed took him two years. Rather than merely retouching the furnishings’ exteriors, he decided to expose the original painted surfaces by removing later coats of paint, but also to leave signs of wear and tear visible.

In the exhibition, the kitchen’s various elements are arranged according to the original floor plan. The end wall of the kitchen opposite the doorway, which once featured a window overlooking the garden, has been omitted, permitting views of the gallery space beyond. And when standing outside the kitchen at that end, the museum visitor moreover gains insights into its construction. The installation even includes the original floor and wall tiles, which make for a very authentic overall impression of Schütte-Lihotzky’s outstanding design achievement.

Prof Dr Klaus Klemp oversaw the project in the role of curator, with the extensive scholarly assistance and advice of Dr Christos-N. Vittoratos. The restoration was made possible by generous financial support from the Hessischer Museumsverband (Hessian museum association).

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Elementary Parts: From the Collections

The “Frankfurt Kitchen” has now taken up residence in Elementary Parts – a permanent exhibition in which the Museum Angewandte Kunst presents selected objects from all of its collections.