The museum department is the art history section of the Bavarian Administration of Palaces, Gardens and Lakes. It is responsible for the state and museum rooms of the palaces, castles and treasuries with their approximately 100,000 art objects. In addition to internationally important historic collections of furniture, tapestries, silver and ceramics there are outstanding special collections such as the Treasury of the Munich Residence, the Museum in the former royal stables at Nymphenburg Palace, the King Ludwig II Museum on Herrenchiemsee and the porcelain and faience collections in Munich, Ansbach and Bayreuth.
Each of the art historians is responsible for several palaces and one or more specialized areas. In this way the department covers the most important material categories in the extremely varied inventory.
These experts are responsible for the conception of the state rooms and the arrangement of the objects in them and organize their upkeep and where necessary restoration in cooperation with the conservation department. They also design and develop new museum complexes and provide educational information in the palaces. They re-acquire items that were part of the original furnishing by purchasing them or loaning them from other collections. The museum department staff are supported in their work by volunteers and an in-house library.
It is also in this department that most of the publications of the Bavarian Palace Administration are written – in particular the official guides – and the texts compiled for the audio guides that are available in several languages for the most important properties. Apart from the official guides, the varied publication assortment includes brochures, educational publications, coffee-table books, special series on particular properties and exhibition and inventory catalogues.
Compiling electronic records of the inventories, which also entails researching the origins of each item, is an important part of the work of this department.
The popularity of the palace tours shows that guided tours do not have to be boring! With a wide range of events the museum department fulfils the Bavarian Palace Administration's educational function.
The programme offered is interesting as well as entertaining and in keeping with the times. Visitors can choose throughout the year from a comprehensive range of guided tours. These include special offers for parents and children, such as a ghost tour of Trausnitz Castle. Tours on topics of particular interest interpret ensembles and individual art objects in both a comprehensible and scholarly fashion, and bring history to life.
In addition the museum department organizes exhibitions on particular subjects connected with the palaces and collections.