Special exhibitions and events

The permanent exhibitions are accompanied by a versatile programme of special exhibitions. It is dedicated to all areas of design and ranges from historical topics to current design to photography and architecture.

The GRASSIMESSE, our trade fair for art and design, represents an annual recurrent highlight. Established in the early 1920s, it entered the history of design as one of the first performance shows of its kind and as a "meeting point for modern art".

Special exhibitions 2022/23 (PDF)



Pierre Bonnard, Lithografie aus: Peter Nansen, Marie, Paris: Revue Blanche, 1898


From Bonnard to Klemke

Illustrated Books and Portfolios from the Collection Wieland Schütz

The list of modern artists who have dedicated themselves to the book includes all the great names: it ranges from Manet, Picasso and Matisse to Slevogt, Kirchner and Barlach to Grieshaber, Heisig and Baselitz. They are all represented in this collection of more than 1,400 illustrated books given to the GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts by Berlin collector Wieland Schütz and form the centerpiece of this exhibition.



SABINE GROSCHUP: 3 Blutstropfen drei

Tränen Widmungen Liebe Krise

The exhibition shows a representative selection of works from Groschup's four handkerchief cycles, each with his own hand-embroidered lyrics on handkerchiefs of different provenance.



29. + 30.04.2023

Photobook Festival

The Leipzig Photobook Festival is an international festival that presents and celebrates the potential of the photo book medium in a contemporary context. In 2023, the focus will be on photo books from African countries, as African photo books are still little known in the photo book landscape in Europe and are only sporadically available on the European market. There will also be panel discussions, presentations and two exhibitions – a photo book and a photography exhibition.




International Fair for Applied Art and Design

As October rolls around the museum transforms into a lively place for contemporary design and arts and crafts. Exclusive, beautiful and useful objects are presented and offered for sale in all exhibition areas and in the permanent exhibition "From Antiquity to Historicism". More than 100 international artisans and designers, artist communities and students will sell unique pieces, prototypes and small series from the fields of jewelry, ceramics and porcelain, textiles and accessories, paper, wood, metal and utensils, furniture and toys, to name a few.

Thematic focuses will also be set in 2023. Sweden will be the guest country, presenting itself at the fair with its rich culture of applied arts, thus adding another facet to the already rich selection of international exhibitors. The outstanding quality of all exhibitors and the international orientation are features that attract regional design and art enthusiasts, but also visitors from all over the world.


two vases design: Ludwig Sütterlin, production: Fritz Heckert, 1903, Petersdorf, glas, on permanent loan by Pese collection, Nuremberg, intended as a donation. Creditline: GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts Kunst, Leipzig. Picture made by Esther Hoyer.

04.11. – 06.10.2024

Tidal wave:

Art Nouveau at the Grassi

Precious materials, sensual lines and glowing iridescence - the variety of designs of the artists from the Art Nouveau period was virtually limitless. They were not concerned with the overabundance of historicism, but rather a renunciation of its clutter. Something new had to be found! The solution: Around 1900 the artists applied the forms and colors of nature.


Aus der Serie „Metamorphosen“ von Herlindl Koelbl

23.11.2023 – 07.04.2024

Herlinde Koelbl


Herlinde Koelbl, known for many projects including her documentaries about politicians, presents here for the first time a project that is not about people. It is true that she continues to explore the theme of change and transience evidenced in her other work, but now her focus is on nature.