‘Whichever way you look at it, I was always destined to work for Deutsche Werkstätten’.
When Anette Hellmuth, PhD in History of Art, looks back on her professional career, she comes to the conclusion that “whatever I had chosen to do, I would have ended up in Hellerau.” For at a certain point in her academic career all paths seemed to lead to Hellerau. For example in the 1980s she had to make the choice between taking up History of Art at the University of Leipzig and an offer from the Burg Giebichenstein University of the Arts in Halle to study with Professor Rudolf Horn, designer of the MDW modular furniture system, manufactured in Dresden-Hellerau. She opted for Leipzig. As fate would have it, she found herself, in 2019, working on an exhibition organized by the Dresden Museum of Decorative Arts to commemorate the work of Rudolf Horn, on his 90th birthday.
Since joining Deutsche Werkstätten in 1999 Anette Hellmuth has been the ‘walking encyclopedia’ of the history of the company, responsible for historical research, the application for UNESCO World Heritage status and a whole variety of cultural activities including concerts, in-house exhibitions and external exhibition projects such as the collaboration with the Dresden Museum of Decorative Arts. She maintains contacts with the scientific community and with the Dresden State Archive, now home to Deutsche Werkstätten’s historical archives. Furthermore, Anette Hellmuth is the contact person for enquiries about historical pieces of furniture produced in Hellerau and donations. “What I really enjoy here is the variety of my work and that I am free to work independently. The combination of freedom and diversity is exciting. And it is, of course, a wonderful place.”