© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Frank Höhler

Puppet Theatre Collection

Today, entertainment and knowledge come to us via television, the internet and DVDs, but there was a time when all this happened at the inn. Puppeteers who went from town to town in their caravans told funny or sad stories with their marionettes. At fairs, Kasper gave a thrashing to the policeman, to Death and the devil, putting a smile on the faces of old and young alike. Today the long-serving veterans of the stage are enjoying their retirement, inviting us to have a close look at them. 

[Translate to English:] In jährlich wechselnden Ausstellungen

Dr. Faust, Kasper, knights, robbers, Little Red Riding Hood: The holdings range from 200-year-old, large marionettes to hand puppets from fairs, Bauhaus figures and the sandman to works from our millennium. With more than 100,000 items, the collection is one of the largest and most significant of its kind in the world. Among the most valuable objects are figures and stage scenery from nineteenth-century mechanical theatre, or theatrum mundi, which can be found nowhere else in this condition.

© SKD, Foto: Frank Höhler

[Translate to English:] Textbücher, Briefe, Werbematerial, Bilder und Filme

Scripts, letters, advertisements, pictures and films are all in the collection in great numbers, especially material from the region. They are a valuable source for research as Saxony has historically been an important hub of puppet theatre: Around 1900, more than 150 theatres travelled the region. In the 1930s, a fifth of all the top-ranking puppet theatre troupes came from Saxony. Today as well, audiences are wowed by eighty private troupes but also by the five communal ensembles which still exist in Bautzen, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig and Zwickau.

© SKD, Foto: Frank Höhler

Exhibition list

Further Exhibitions


in Schloss Pillnitz

gelber Kasten mit vier Füßen


in Residenzschloss

Münzen, Medaillen und Orden

Josef-Hegenbarth Archiv

in Josef-Hegenbarth-Archive

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