The MK&G messe dates back more than 130 years, making it the oldest and most established forum for arts and crafts in Germany. Over the years, the concept behind the fair has been constantly adapted as the prevailing circumstances have changed. 2020 seemed like the right time to review and revise the fair’s contemporary and international standing, as well as its artistic and social relevance. 

As it has throughout its history, the fair continues to see itself as a platform for renowned international craftspeople; however, it is now more committed than ever before to attracting up-and-coming exhibitors from Germany and beyond and even more interested in crossover and cross-genre positions that are judged not so much on the basis of training and tradition as on the quality of the handmade works.

Since its foundation, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MK&G) has stood for internationally oriented interest in, and the promotion of, excellent design quality. Those same principles are the basis of the MK&G messe’s international orientation. Its mission is to be a central platform for contemporary craft in northern Europe. 

The application period for the MK&G messe is from 1 April - 30 April each year. Applications can be submitted online via this website.

Vision

From 27 November to 1 December 2024, the MK&G messe will present the latest trends in contemporary craft, including both up-and-coming and well-known positions, international tendencies and fresh perspectives from many disciplines such as ceramics, glass art and jewellery design. As an international forum, the MK&G messe offers a broad audience arts and crafts of high design and craftsmanship quality as well as an up-to-date public programme, which highlights creative and authentic production processes. In terms of content, the design of the fair’s architecture, as well as a guest country, will also be special focuses. For the third time in its history, the MK&G messe will be accompanied by a large solo exhibition devoted to contemporary craft: for 2024, the renowned textile artist Hanne Friis has been invited to present her work.
The opening of the fair and the presentation of the Justus Brinckmann Prize as well as the New Generation Award will take place on Tuesday, 26 November 2024 at 6 pm. 

Hanne Friis, The Mass (Yellow), 2011, Sammlung KODE Art Museum, Bergen, Norwegen, Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen, © Hanne Friis

Young Talents

The invitation-only category called Young Talents is a small selection of emerging artisans that has been invited to Hamburg to participate in the fair without going through the application process. The goal of Young Talents is to promote young creatives and showcase the future of craft and its innovative possibilities. In short, through the curated selection and support of the Young Talents, the general aim is to advance and enhance contemporary crafts. Positions at the MK&G messe are presented without galleries and all participants are present throughout the fair’s duration. This tradition creates and supports lasting relationships between collectors and artists, which are crucial to contemporary craft practice today. With the Young Talents, MK&G aims to build a strong connection for future collaborations.
Young Talent participants are awarded a booth free of charge and receive a financial stipend to support in the production and transportation of their work. They are not eligible for either of the annual prizes awarded by the Justus Brinckmann Society at the fair.

Jury

Prof. Tulga Beyerle, Director, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)
Thomas Geisler, Director, Kunstgewerbemuseum der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Viktoria Lea Heinrich, Curator and Head of the Applied Arts & Design Collection, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)
Prof. Axel Kufus, Product designer
Wolfgang Lösche, retired Head of the Exhibitions Department of the Chamber of Crafts Munich and Upper Bavaria
Veronika Beckh, Winner of the Justus Brinckmann Prize at the MK&G messe 2023 and artist, Berlin
Marlo Scheder-Bieschin, Vice Chair of the Justus Brinckmann Society, MK&G Circle of Friends, Hamburg
Cécile Feilchenfeldt, Artist, Paris

MK&G messe Jury 2023, Photo: Andreas Weiss

Awards

The MK&G messe is both a forum for arts and crafts of the highest creative and artisanal quality and an experimental space for up-and-coming artistic talents. At the same time, the current value debate about ecology and new luxury, one-offs and mass-market products, production and working conditions is bringing new topicality to arts and crafts fairs. Inhabiting the territory between tradition and innovation, they provide a key forum for connecting with the cultural knowledge surrounding craft techniques, the properties of materials and sustainable processing methods.

The Justus Brinckmann Prize
As one of the oldest events of its kind in Germany, the MK&G messe is no stranger to engaging with contemporary developments and presents the Justus Brinckmann Prize for outstanding merit every year, together with prize money of €7,500.

Veronika Beckh, winner of the 2023 prize, photo: Andreas Weiss

The MK&G Circle of Friends, the Justus Brinckmann Society, is a fan club, source of inspiration and ambassador of the MK&G. The promotion of contemporary arts and crafts is a special concern of the circle of friends. In close cooperation with the museum, the Justus Brinckmann Society is an active co-organizer of the MK&G fair. On the opening evening, the society will be awarding the "Justus Brinckmann Prize" and the "Justus Brinckmann Promotion Prize", two prestigious prizes to creative craftsmen and women. Join in and become part of the creative community at MK&G!

Team

Fair management:
Viktoria Lea Heinrich, Curator and Head of the Applied Arts & Design Collection, MK&G, Hamburg
Isabelle von Schilcher, Executive Director, Justus Brinckmann Fördergesellschaft mbH

Project management / contact for fair enquiries:
Isabelle von Schilcher
+49(0)40 24 52 91
kontakt@mkgmesse.de
Justus Brinckmann Förder-GmbH

Tulga Beyerle, Direktorin MK&G
Marlo Scheder-Bieschin, 2. Vorsitzende Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft e.V., MK&G Freundeskreis

General contact data:
MK&G messe
Justus Brinckmann Förder-GmbH
Steintorplatz 1
20099 Hamburg

The MK&G messe is organised by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg in collaboration with the Justus Brinckmann Förder-GmbH
Venue: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg
Information: mkg-hamburg.de and mkgmesse.de