State Museum of Ethnology

The Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology (German: Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde) in Munich, Germany is a museum for Non-European artworks and objects of cultural value.

The building

The building in Munich's Maximilianstrasse, one of the city's four royal avenues, was originally constructed in 1859-1865 for the Bavarian National Museum by Eduard Riedel adverse to the building of the Government of Upper Bavaria. The architecture is influenced by the Perpendicular Style.

The collections

The collection was founded in 1868, but its history started much earlier. The first collectors of objects from outside Europe were the members of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Today the museum is the second largest in Germany, outnumbered only by Berlin, with a collection of 200.000 objects and an exhibition area of 4,500 square meters.

The total area is about 12,000 m² and includes also facilities for carpenting, metalworking, painting and restoration, magazines, a meeting- and conference-room and offices.

On the second floor the permanent exhibitions for Art and Culture of the Americas and of Africa are shown while the exhibitions about the Islamic World, India, East Asia and Oceania are located in the first floor.

Among many other artefacts, the museum houses the oldest still existing North American kayaks.

Building Activity

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