- Art Education
The special collections feature remarkable examples of Attic vase painting and a range of different vessel types from amphoras to ointment pots. In addition to everyday utensils, jewellery and several statuettes of gods, the Egyptian collection also boasts fragments of an Egyptian funerary boat. The special collections also include an extensive inventory of glass painting and a collection of coins.
The museum's special collections include an extensive inventory of glass painting. For example, the permanent exhibition features painted glass windows and fragments from the Late Middle Ages with figurative and ornamental motifs. Panes from the Renaissance and the Baroque period portray Christian and worldly topics including depictions from the world of the Fuggers, for example the so-called "Swiss panes" from the 16th century.
The collection also features works by the likes of Johan Thorn-Prikker, Heinrich Campendonk, Ewald Mataré or Anton Wendling. In the 1920s, these artists revived the old technique of glass window design involving mosaicing rather than painting onto the glass pane. In their works from the "Era of Renewal", they used brilliant, clear antique glass.
It was after 1945 that the large slab glass windows set in concrete created by artists like Pierre Soulages, Raoul Ubac, Victor Vasarely, Robert Sowers, Otto Dix, Anton Wendling, Fritz Winter, Georg Meistermann, Johannes Schreiter and Ludwig Schaffrath appeared.
> On show on the 2nd floor
Ointment pots and funerary figurines – in addition to everyday utensils, jewellery and several statuettes of gods, the ancient Egyptian collection also boasts fragments of an Egyptian funerary boat. But the best example of the funerary practices of the ancient Egyptians is a richly illustrated receptacle for a mummy (6th century BC). The museum's female mummy (16th century BC) with mask, fragments of the receptacle and painted sarcophagus spent many years away from Aachen in the Röntgen-Museum (X-Ray Museum) in Remscheid and is currently on leave as a long-term loan to the Parque de la Cienas Museum in Cordoba.
> Not currently on show
The museum's extensive collection of artefacts from antiquity is represented in the permanent exhibition by remarkable examples of Attic vase painting and a range of different vessel types from amphoras to ointment pots. These works reflect the chronological development of the early Geometric period (900-700 BC) through the Archaic period (700-500 BC) to the Classical period (470-380 BC). The selection is rounded off with some small ceramic figurines: delicate terracotta figures from Tanagra (4th-3rd century BC) and Archaic-style figures of idols from Boeotia (6th-5th century BC).
The most prominent exhibits include two Apulian prize amphoras in Panathenaic style, a hub-of-the-world dish bowl, an apotropaic eye-cup and a bronze warrior's helmet from Olympia (550 BC). Another outstanding item is a bronze folding mirror with a depiction of Europa riding the bull.
The collection also has a section devoted to Coptic art of Late Antiquity – an encaustic portrait of a female mummy and a collection of almost 100 specimens of textiles – and a marble female head from the Central Roman Empire.
> Selection on show in the Tapestry Room on the 1st floor
The Suermondt Museum had an East-Asian cabinet which was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War. To compensate for the loss, in the 1950s the museum acquired a rich collection of Japanese sword guards – tsuba – from Japanese samurai swords. The majority of these iron discs, gold-plated or encrusted with jewels, date from the 17th-19th century and feature reliefs with figurative, mythological or floral motifs.
> Most of the East-Asian collection is not currently on show
On show in the Couven Museum are examples from the municipal collection of Japanese and Chinese porcelain as well as a large-format Chinese print.
The municipal collection encompasses several thousand items and contains a virtually complete collection of coins minted or used in Aachen from the Early Middle Ages to the present day, with lots of rarities and unique specimens. The inventory also boasts a small collection of Greco-Roman coins, coins acquired through archaeological digs in the Aachen region (primarily from Roman times and the Middle Ages) and an extensive collection of medals and plaques with regional relevance. And the collection also features some practical equipment relating to coinage: a mint press, coin scales, Ferdinand I's purse for coins to throw to the populace, forms of emergency currency …
> Not currently on show