The first exhibition features the older sections of the collection. It has been designed as a cross-genre presentation with an emphasis on art and cultural history whose essential structure is to remain for a longer period of time.

Among the highlights of this part of the exhibition, which covers approx. 2000 m², are a walk-in display cabinet with Italian Renaissance maiolica and three historic rooms. While the panelling from the monastery refectory in Cori near Rome is unique in a museum context, the chinoiserie wall covering from the manor house in Zehmen near Leipzig, which is presented to the public for the first time, is full of exotic beauty. But also the Roman Hall from the mansion of Eythra – one of the villages that were forced to give way to brown coal mining in the Leipzig area – has been resurrected after many years of restoration.

References to the history of Saxony and Leipzig are of particular importance in all three parts of the exhibitions. Among many other items, the first part, for instance, presents works of art from Leipzig’s council treasure and from the cabinet of art and rarities that was annexed to the old council library. Furniture from the foremost workshops of Leipzig, ceramics, porcelain, glasses, gold and silversmiths’ work bear witness to the mastery of Saxon artists and craftspeople.