18 December 2018
John Heartfield Goes Online – www.heartfield.adk.de
New Online Catalogue Makes the Works of the Political Artist Accessible
John Heartfield (1891–1968) was one of the most important and innovative political satirical artists to use his work to oppose Fascism. His posters and book covers for the Malik-Verlag and magazine covers for the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) are essential components of the political iconography of the Weimar Republic as well as of anti-Fascist exile. They reached the masses and had a lasting impact on the visual memory of the times. Less well-known are his works for the theatre, many unpublished designs and the unused materials that the artist collected for his photomontages. More than 6,000 works from Heartfield's estate are preserved in the Art Collection at the Akademie der Künste. Today, Heartfield's graphic oeuvre is among the most frequently requested collections at the Akademie Archives. More than 4,000 works are now accessible to the public online: www.heartfield.adk.de.
The release of the Heartfield online catalogue forms the basis of the Akademie's longer-term examination of Heartfield as an exceptional artist: A virtual exhibition is being developed in 2019 under the title Cosmos Heartfield, and in 2020 a major retrospective of his works will be shown in the Akademie building on Pariser Platz.
‟For the Akademie Archives, this is the first web presentation of an artist's estate of works, with which we hope to provide new impulses to the scholarly discourse, but also to educational work in schools. Not only are many unknown works by John Heartfield being presented to the public for the first time, the catalogue also offers a variety of information and functions that will make it the central working tool for Heartfield researchers", said Werner Heegewaldt, the director of the Archives. ‟The generous support of the heirs and copyright holders, as well as financial support from the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung (EvS Art Foundation), first made this project possible." Heartfield's graphic work was catalogued as part of a two-year digitisation and cataloguing project. All of the works are now accessible online. They can be digitally researched, viewed in detail using the zoom function, and compared. A biography with many previously unpublished photographs casts a spotlight on Heartfield's life, which was marked by flight and exile, and on his artistic network; a glossary provides further insights and context.
‟New acquisitions for museums and archives generally garner the attention of the public and the media. But much more important is the development and research of their existing holdings – not only through spectacular exhibitions but also through diligently-prepared collection catalogues, which are intended to remain valid for many decades. By supporting both print editions and online publishing, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung fosters the scholarly investigation of collections and the related development of catalogues of works. Around 250 of such foundational works have been funded, and the digital collection catalogue for John Heartfield fits in perfectly. Digital access also preserves the originals and thus this was a jointly funded project of the initiative KUNST AUF LAGER with the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung." – Dr Martin Hoernes, Secretary General of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.
Generously supported by the Heartfield Community of Heirs, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.
Press photos and requests: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +49 (0)30 20057-1514
For further inquiries: Anna Schultz, Art Collection, Akademie der Künste, Tel. +49 (0)30 200 57- 4040, email@example.com
Funded by the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung