The history of Lauchhammer as an industrial location started in 1725 with the opening of the first blast furnace in the time when Baroness von Löwendal was improving her estate. Her artistically minded godson, Detlev Carl von Einsiedel, then made Lauchhammer a centre for ornate cast iron on the basis of his collection of copies of antique sculptures. In 1784, his sculptors were able to report a ground-breaking achievement: The first hollow iron casting – a bacchante – was cast in Lauchhammer. Bronze castings were also produced in Lauchhammer from the 1830s and famous sculptors from the Berlin and Dresden school of sculpture handed over production of their works to this foundry. During its long history, the foundry remained a leader in the casting of monumental sculptures.
The Lauchhammer Art Casting Museum was founded in 1992 next to the art foundry. A former school building, the “Bronze School”, houses the foundry’s collection of models; 2,800 casting models in plaster or metal are waiting to be discovered by visitors in the display warehouse. The Lauchhammer model collection is under monument protection as a unique historic find. It illustrates the cultural history of the era between the end of the 18th century and today.
Lauchhammer’s contributions to cast iron architecture are also covered by the museum, along with cast iron equipment, pottery and stoves. The museum provides a fascinating connection between the history of art and that of technology. To be able to present all the chapters in the art casting story in the future again, the museum is planning an extension with more space for permanent and temporary exhibitions and a link to the foundry.
Extras: Museum shop, guided tours, programmes for children and young people, participation in bell casting, tour of the foundry.