9 July 2021
The Akademie der Künste celebrates its 325th anniversary on 11 July 2021
Article at www.adk.de/kalenderblaetter
Sunday 11 July 2021 marks the 325th anniversary of the founding of the Akademie der Künste. The artist community comprised five members when it was opened in Berlin on 11 July 1696 by Elector Frederick III, later King Frederick I of Prussia. Its mission was to advise the court on artistic matters, to train specialists and to assist in the expansion and furnishing of the royal residences. The young kingdom’s claim to power was to be showcased in a coherent and visually memorable way. This was only possible with imported stimuli and ideas. Among the first members was the sculptor and architect Andreas Schlüter, one of the foremost artists of his time.
325 years later and with its current 402 members, the Akademie der Künste can look back on an exciting and eventful history, marked by the transformation of an educational institution into an international community of artists; by new departures and consolidation; by governmental appropriation and its aspiration to manage its own affairs; and by discourses on art. Today, as an exhibition and event venue, it serves as a place where artists and art lovers meet and for public debates on art and cultural policy.
To celebrate its anniversary, the Akademie der Künste is presenting snapshots of its history in video clips – so-called calendar pages. These are outstanding events that have had a decisive impact as landmarks in the life of the institution, such as its founding, its ideological alignment under National Socialism, the unification of the academies in East and West, and the return to Pariser Platz. But even events that seem unspectacular at first sight are examined from today’s point of view. These include Theodor Fontane’s “interlude” at the Akademie, an encounter between members from East and West before the fall of the Wall, and the “Rushdie affair”. The outcome is personal miniatures and viewpoints that make no claim to completeness or comprehensiveness. The contributions will be published on their respective dates on the website of the Akademie der Künste and on its social media channels.
The current exhibition “Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives” at Pariser Platz is also dedicated to the 325th anniversary of the Akademie. Here, the Akademie der Künste investigates the role of the arts and their institutions in the culture of remembrance.