Erlesene Bibliotheken – Artists‘ Libraries


Places of knowledge; the material basis of creative work – libraries impart the foundations of our existence. In them the past and the future collide and their appropriation produces something new. For many artists, their own collection of books represents an important work environment, workshop and source of inspiration. Traces left behind during reading, such as markings, underlining and comments, attest to intense exchanges or confrontations with the materials presented; dedications identify artistic networks; book insertions act as time capsules.

Chosen from the libraries of over 300 individuals – orignially owned by Heinrich Mann, George Grosz, Bernhard Minetti, Christa Wolf, et al. – valuable, one of a kind and rare books are exibited. They include annotated copies, artist books, censored print media, works for bibliophiles in very small editions and Samizdat productions. Designed to be pars pro toto (i.e. where a part represents the whole), the show provides insights into the more than 600,000 exceedingly fine volumes and collection holdings that are publicly accessible in the Akademie der Künste library.

5 May — 19 Jun 2019

Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm

Guided tours Wed 5 pm, Sun at noon

Free admission