Picture Cellar

The Picture Cellar will be reopened for the exhibition "Arbeit am Gedächtnis - Transforming Archives": As part of guided tours, a series of murals can be viewed that were created in the middle of the political "Tauwetter-Periode” (thaw period) between 1957 and 1958 on the occasion of two carnival celebrations in the former coal cellar of the Akademie on Pariser Platz.

The works by the master students of the German Akademie der Künste Manfred Böttcher, Harald Metzkes, Ernst Schroeder, Werner Stötzer and Horst Zickelbein are unique testimonies to a youthful post-war awakening. In an exhibition initiated by Fritz Cremer, the works of the carnival painters provided the occasion for the climax of a cultural-political campaign against the Akademie in the GDR. As if in a burning glass, the murals reflect the controversial discussion between East and West and the need for a differentiated interpretation of German-German history in a European context.

The Picture Cellar was only made public in 2018. Besides the exhibition halls and the Brandenburg Gate, the murals are the only original remnants of the historic Pariser Platz.

Interview films, audio documents and a publication in German and English provide insights into the disputes of the time.