The Academy Archive
Johann Gottfried Schadow, Minutes of a Meeting of the Academy, with portrait sketch, detail (1813)
With its extensive holdings and more than 80 staff members, the Academy Archive may well be regarded as the most important interdisciplinary archive for art and culture in the German-speaking world since 1900. Its central task consists of acquiring and recording archives of major importance for the arts and the history of art, and of making them available to academic researchers and those of the general public who are interested. In exhibitions, lectures, readings, concerts and publications, too, the Archive publicises its holdings and makes them available for external exhibitions. It is also in charge of the museum sections of the Brecht-Weigel and Anna Seghers Memorial Centres.
Like the members of the Academy itself, the Archive covers all the arts. Thus, along with individual genres, the focus falls on art and culture in their reciprocal relation and on the dialogue between the arts. Thus it is possible to research the collaboration which takes place between authors, performing artists, composers or creative artists in the theatre, or the connection between authors and composers in the creation of opera or song. The institutional division of the arts into media, visual and performing arts thus becomes redundant – as redundant as the division between film and theatre archives in the case of directors and actors. This approach reflects the way the arts have mutually interpenetrated each other in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The overarching focal points in the Archive’s collections indicate the general framework which has influenced the arts in their totality: exile during National Socialism; artists and cultural life in Germany, and particularly in Berlin, since 1900; the situation in the GDR; but also the history of the Academy as an institution, standing as a whole for the exchange of experience between the arts and their public representation.
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These exhibitions are available: