Dresdens Royal Palace is the birthplace and centre of the Dresden State Art Collections
. This monument to Saxon and European history, which was devastated in the Second World War, has also been Saxonys biggest cultural building site for many years now. Step by step, a Royal seat of Art and Science is being recreated; a museum centre of international influence in which historical and pseudo-historical architectural elements, modern museum galleries and others still with visible signs of damage unite to form a museum architecture at the cutting edge of technology which sets off the unique artistic treasures it holds to best advantage.
Now, an important step has been taken along the route to completing the Residenzschloss. At the start of April 2017, the Renaissance Wing at the Residenzschloss has been brought to completion, opening up another 1,113 m² of exhibition space to the public. On 9 April 2017, two new permanent exhibitions belonging to the Rüstkammer (Armoury) opened on the first floor: On the Way to Electoral Power in the East Wing, and "The Electoral Wardrobe" in the North Wing. The two areas are not just physically, but also thematically connected to the permanent exhibition which opened in 2016, Concept and Encounter: the World around 1600.
The exhibition On the Way to Electoral Power presents the development of the House of Wettin from the acquisition of the Saxon electoral privilege by Friedrich the Pugnacious in 1423 until Duke Moritz of Saxony won the electorship for the Albertine line of the House of Wettin in 1547, then his succession as elector by his brother Duke Augustus of Saxony in 1553. The exhibition is the SKDs main contribution to the 2017 anniversary of the Reformation. On the first floor of the East Wing, it is the first time that the worlds greatest treasure trove of ceremonial weapons from the Reformation period and early Baroque has been on display in one place. The weapons embodied the Saxon electors claim to power and their reformist religious programme, and are among the oldest pieces in the Rüstkammer.
With original robes from around 1550 to 1650, the exhibition The Electoral Wardrobe reveals the sumptuous electoral fashion of the Renaissance and early Baroque periods which, with just few exceptions, is otherwise only found in paintings of the great rulers of those epochs. Twenty-seven regal costumes, including six full sets of clothing and four womens dresses have been kept in the storage facility since the Second World War and now have been put on display for the public for the first time since, in the North Wing of the Residenzschloss. Their certain provenance, the outstanding craftsmanship and artistic quality of the fabrics, their value as an ensemble, their dynastic significance, their internationalism, their allocation to this specific period and the impressive state in which they have been preserved put these items of fashion at the level of European cultural heritage.