Museum Kelkheim presents

a historical collection and description of the local furniture production and trade along with a survey of town history

Welcome to the Homepage of the Museum of Kelkheim (Taunus).

What follows is a summarised translation of the German Website.

Museum concept - town history

The history of our town and its people as documented in the Kelkheim Museum is interpreted as a story of farmers, craftsmen and citizens mainly in the 19th and 20th century, parallel to the industrialisation of the Rhine-Main area.

The economic structural basis of Kelkheim was mainly influenced by the development of a flourishing carpenter craftsmanship in the villages of this region since the mid 19th century.

The variety of products ranged from simple wooden articles of all sorts to highly sophisticated furniture, which made Kelkheim famous all over Germany as a “Furniture Town” (“Möbelstadt”).

The international significance of the Kelkheim furniture industry reached its peak productive period during the mid 1950s.

Some Kelkheim furniture companies became renowned internationally, receiving spectacular orders from overseas in the Fifties of the previous century.

The transition to modern output-oriented production based on computer controlled equipment has led to a dramatic change in the local furniture industry, forcing many manufacturers to close down.

Today, Kelkheim’s furniture industry relies upon its reputation of high quality, expensive custom made furniture, entire interior décor pieces, and the competent consultation for which the city is known.

Museum Concept - History of the carpenter and furniture trade

Kelkheim looks back on a rich local history of carpenters and craftsmen representing the development of famous family businesses, adapting to and stimulating practical innovations.

In contrast to the Industrial Revolution and the rapid improvements elsewhere affecting every part of our society, Kelkheim, however, remained a classical craftsmen community that placed great significance on quality, hand-made, individual pieces of furniture.

The development of the furniture trade in Kelkheim can be broken into four distinctive periods.

  • The first period of furniture-making craftsmanship as a secondary means of employment, mainly by full-time farmers during the winter months (1850 – 1885).

  • The transition to professional furniture making for further assembling and marketing companies (1885 – 1905).

  • The self-employed and organized stage of furniture-making turning Kelkheim into a centre of furniture production (1905 – 1945).

  • The period of gradual decline in furniture production (the post 1960 period).

Museum Concept 1 – historical survey

From a simple impoverished farming village, Kelkheim grew to a self-confident “Furniture Town”- which justifies a detailed conceptual presentation within the Museum displays.

The museum presents the economic and social history of Eppenhain, Fischbach, Hornau, Kelkheim, Münster and Ruppershain, the villages that now compose the town of Kelkheim. While the individual differences of each community, in accordance to professions and life- styles are characterised separately, the similarities and common binding elements are also represented in the museum.

The poverty of rural communities in the 1800s was a common factor amongst these villages. Various displays demonstrate the fact that the first attempts at furniture manufacturing began in Kelkheim, out of necessity, in the second half of the 19th century.

The museum combines everyday objects and tools of the technological development in the presentation of the furniture handicraft. Emphasis is placed upon the average daily experiences of craftsmen, while reflecting upon the family and company histories of the area.

Museum Concept 2 – usage of space.

The given arrangement and the sizes of existing showrooms allow for the following topics to be presented in the museum in its present stage:

1. A history of the town is presented on the steps of the museum, beginning with the period of approx. 5,000 BCE.

2. The history of the various villages is presented in the large glass display cases:

-From a poor farming village to a prosperous furniture manufacturing city.

-The economic situation of each village during the 19th century period.

3. The “Avenue of Showcase Windows” (furniture display)

- 100 years of carpenter handicraft history

Furniture Town of Kelkheim (1860 to post 1960)

- Lifestyles and furniture designs

- Company descriptions

4. Digital images of the Furniture Town.

- Photos and documents from various Kelkheim cabinet-makers, carpenters and furniture supply companies.

- Photos of the “Furniture Fairs” (“Moebelmesse”) held over the years in Kelkheim

5. The furniture wood shop

- a unique historical woodshop for cabinet-making, presenting the typical tools and techniques.

6. Museum education - children’s workshop

- Learning by doing in a furniture workshop, appropriately equipped for children.

7. Film presentations and a data bank

-a town builds furniture.

Hours of Operation

(except during local school vacation periods)

Wednesday 15:00 – 18:00 (3:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

Sundays 15:00 – 18:00 (3:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

Admission fees

Adults   3.00 Euro

Children free

Students free

School classes 1.00 Euro per person.

Groups (according to attendance figures, with advance notification)

Contact: Dr. Beate Matuschek

or Mrs. Annette Vankov

Department of Cultural Activities (Kulturreferat) Kelkheim

Tel. 0049 (0) 6195-803, 850 or 851

(on weekdays, only in the morning, local time)

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Guided tours, special functions and children attractions, etc., for instance if you wish to enjoy a guided tour, for example in the style of the “good old days”, with your children, friends, for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries) or for business meeting with catering.

Let us give you some ideas, please contact:

Dr Beate Matuschek

or Mrs. Annette Vankov

(as above)

Children programs

- Each month during the regular school season, the museum offers special events, which are announced in the local news press. Information for these events can also be found on the “Special Events Calendar” on this website.

Lectures

History and stories of Kelkheimer furniture workshops.

Dates are announced in the local news press. Information for these events can also be found on the “Special Events Calendar” on this website.

Guided tours

- The history of the city, along the steps leading upstairs to the Museum,

presented by Mr. Dietrich Kleipa, town archivist

- Tours through the furniture history and interesting stories of the various towns that make up Kelkheim, presented by Mrs. Ursula Kutzner, Municipal Council member

- cultural history tours, presented by Mrs. Christa Wittekind

Dates are announced in the local news press. Information for these events can also be found on the “Special Events Calendar” on this website.

How to find us:

Museum Kelkheim

Frankfurter Str. 21

D 65779 Kelkheim (Taunus)

Bus route #804; or #263 to Kelkheim-Mitte; or the S12 train (Frankfurt Main Railway Station - direction Koenigstein) disembarking at Kelkheim-Mitte.

A selection of technical literature is presented as a specialised library in the museum.

More material is available in the Buergerhaus (Civic Centre) in Kelkheim-Fischbach.

Special Events

View Special Events Calendar

View Tours Calendar

View Special Exhibit Calendar

Fun at the museum on Thursday (for children, dates on arrangement)

Contact & Communication

Museum team

President of the Museum Club Kelkheim („Museumsverein Kelkheim e.V.“)

Mr. Ruediger Kraatz MA

Gimbacher Weg 10

D 65779 Kelkheim

Tel.: 0049 (0) 6195 901721

Public Affairs Representative

Mrs. Inge Voigt

Im Stückes 82

D 65779 Kelkheim

Tel.: 0049 (0) 6195 65096

Vice President and Treasurer of the Museum Club Kelkheim

Edelgard Kleemann

Frankfurter Str. 202

D 65779 Kelkheim

Vice President of the Museum Club Kelkheim  

Andrea Hillebrecht-Schulte

Hornauer Str. 45c

D 65779 Kelkheim

Tel. 0049 (0)6195 64477 

Supervising Team:

Mrs. Ursula Kutzner

Tel.: 0049 (0) 6195 74892

Inventory Team:

Currently a new team is being formed and trained.

Coordinating Office:

Department of Cultural Activities (Kulturreferat) Kelkheim

Dr. Beate Matuschek

& Mrs. Annette Vankov

Tel.: 0049 (0) 6195 803, 850 or 851

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Sponsorship:

Museum Club Kelkheim (“Kulturverein Kelkheim,

Foerderkreis für Handwerks- und Stadtgeschichte e.V.”)

supported and sponsored by the Town Council of Kelkheim

I WANT TO JOIN!

Membership forms: please see the German website.

Advisory Team

Museum concept, consultation and display organization:

Mrs. Susanne Michelsky (Designer, Eppstein)

Town history:

Mrs. Monika Öchsner – Pischel MA (Art Historian, Wiesbaden)

Town historian:

Mr. Dietrich Kleipa (volunteer archivist)

Historical Woodshop (and translator):

Dr. John Provan (Technical Historian, Kelkheim)

Internet:

Mr. Oliver Gräb

(Computer Consultant, Kelkheim)

Development of the museum:

During a period of great market changes and technological innovations, several local carpenters realized the need for gathering and maintaining the traditional knowledge of a bygone handicraft for future generations. In 1985, a “Promotional Group for Carpenter Craftsmanship” (“Foerderkreis für Handwerks- und Stadtgeschichte”) stated in its constitution (Paragraph §3):

“The goal of this club is to promote a public awareness and education by the establishment of a Kelkheim Museum.”

Everything of historic importance was gathered, preserved and presented to the public, which documents the carpenter trade as part of the development of a modern furniture manufacturing industry in relationship to local traditions.

The group also has the goal to collect, maintain and promote the craftsmanship skills required in days gone by to create such furniture. Using these antique woodworking tools and techniques for the non-economical promotion of the carpenter trade, is another primary goal of the group “Learning by doing”. In cooperation with the City of Kelkheim, various displays, lectures and educational courses combine these various aspects into a single concept.

Officially formed in 1983, the group now offers a considerable collection of woodworking tools, machines and products, of various former Kelkheim carpenters. A similar specialized collection of such magnitude, can be found no where else in the State of Hesse.

This group is also responsible for collecting literature for its library, performing handicraft demonstrations of the woodworking skills during annual shows at the nearby Rettershof, displays at furniture events or Fairs, and lectures or courses of instruction have found much interest within the local community.

The “Promotional Group for the Carpenter Craftsmanship and Town History” is a member of the Museum Federation of the State of Hesse and the Historical Society of the Rhein-Main-Taunus area.

It is simple and easy to join the “Promotional Group for the Carpenter Craftsmanship and City History” club (“Foerderkreis für Handwerks- und Stadtgeschichte”)! As a member, you support its activities and goals, help to preserve local traditions and promote the activities of the museum.

I WANT TO JOIN!

Membership forms: please see the German website.

Weblinks:

We are continuously searching the web, seeking new, related websites. Here you will find our collection of links that we have assembled thus far:

  • Museums in the area

  • List of Museums

  • Museums in other countries

  • High Wycombe Museum, England

Impressum:

The “Museumsverein Kelkheim – Foerderkreis für Handwerks- und Stadtgeschichte e.V.”

in his role as President:

Mr. Rüdiger Kraatz MA

Gimbacher Weg 10

D 65779 Kelkheim (Taunus)

Questions or comments in English to be addressed at the above address.

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Responsible for the consultation and realization of this website:

Mr. Oliver Gräb

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Statistical information: See the German website.

Öffnungszeiten

Montag
geschlossen
Dienstag
geschlossen
Mittwoch
15:00 - 18:00
Donnerstag
geschlossen
Freitag
15:00 - 18:00
Samstag
geschlossen
Sonntag
15:00 - 18:00

Terminvorschau

24 Mai 2017
15:00 - 18:00
Sonderausstellung - Salvador Dali
26 Mai 2017
15:00 - 18:00
Sonderausstellung - Salvador Dali
28 Mai 2017
15:00 - 18:00
Führung & Sonderausstellung - Salvador Dali