Dresden Puppet Theatre Collection
German puppet collection. This national collection of puppets was created in 1952 in Dresden from the private collection of Otto Link (1888-1959), a teacher in Leipzig, who was also its first director. The Puppentheatersammlung was originally housed at the Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst (Museum of Saxon Folk Art). In 1960, it became an independent department of the Staatliches Museum für Volkskunst (State Museum of Folk Art) and was exhibited in the rooms of Schloss Hohenhaus (Castle Hohenhaus) in Radebeul. The collection has been part of the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) since 1968. From 1974, it was shown in a permanent exhibition in the foyer of the Staatliches Puppentheater Dresden (State Puppet Theatre Dresden). In 1985, the collection was returned as a permanent exhibit to Schloss Hohenhaus. In 2004, the collection was moved back to Dresden with its new home in the Garnisonskirche (Garrison Church) of Albertstadt (a part of Dresden) and then in May 2005 to Jägerhof (another part of the city). Otto Link’s successors were, among others, Dr Rolf Mäser (1960-1991), Dr Olaf Bernstengel (1991-1993) and, since 1997, Lars Rebehn.
The collection includes more than 50,000 objects, a specialized library, including 3,000 manuscripts dating from 1830 to 1960, and important archives. The themes represented are the itinerant theatres of central Germany in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the theatrum mundi, the toy theatre (also called paper theatre), the educational and artistic puppet performances of the 1920s, and finally the national puppeteers and puppet theatres of the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or East Germany). Only a few documents are about puppet theatres outside Europe. The library, archives and objects are placed, by request, at the disposal of researchers and puppeteers.