In the early twentieth century the small town of Velten, on the edge of Berlin, was Germany’s largest manufacturer of tiled stoves, with 38 factories. It also produced tiles and other architectural ceramics and Velten ceramics were exported to much of Europe, North America, Russia and Scandinavia. The museum collection was started in 1905 with the support of local producers. Since 1994, it has been housed in the factory of A. Schmidt, Lehmann & Co, built in 1899. The complex contains a four-storey building, a single-story production hall, a transformer station and an engine room with a boiler house and chimney.
A collection is exhibited of tiled stoves and ovens of the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries from several countries, along with over 4,000 tiles and stove parts. In addition, some 2,000 items of decorative and functional ceramics are on display. The life is celebrated of Hedwig Bollhagen, one of Germany’s most important modernist ceramic designers and her own collection of ceramics is displayed. There is also a library and archival centre.