Historical Archives

Chr. Weigel, Life Drawing Hall, etching from a drawing by Augustin Terwesten, 1697, detail

Literature Section founding session with, among others, Peter Breuer, Philipp Franck, Thomas Mann, Hermann Stehr, Max von Schillings, and Max Liebermann, 1926

Jury for the exhibition „Mit unserem neuen Leben verbunden“, Akademie der Künste/Verband Bildender Künstler der DDR, 1959

„Berliner Begegnung zur Friedensförderung“ with members of the Akademie der Künste in East and West Berlin, 13/14.12.1981

Heinrich Moldenschardt and Uwe Johnsohn during the General Assembly, 1983

Günter Grass and Joseph Beuys during the General Assembly, 1983

The Historical Archives, with its administrative documents, serves as the memory of the Akademie der Künste down the centuries. The holdings include the Academy’s entire surviving institutional written and visual documents from the late seventeenth century, when the Academy was founded, to the present day. The Historical Archives comprises 1,000 linear metres of files, approx. 260 linear metres of press cuttings as well as around 125,000 photos.

History of the Academy of Arts – Historical phases

Prussian Akademie der Künste
Akademie der Künste der DDR (East Germany)
Akademie der Künste Berlin (West Berlin)
Akademie der Künste, Berlin (from 1993)


Historical Archives – Main holdings

  • Statutes and regulations
  • Minutes of general assemblies of members and elections
  • Documents on training young artists, and their further training
  • Awards of art and literary prizes
  • Expert and consultant reports
  • Competitions and stipends
  • Prizes
  • Minutes of debates on art and cultural history
  • Correspondence with Academy members (around 2,200 letters)
  • Correspondence with state and cultural institutions
  • Collections of papers on events, exhibitions and publications