The Beeskow Art Archive collections comprises 17,000 works of visual art from the 40 years of the GDR’s existence: 360 sculptures, 1,500 paintings, 1,700 drawings, 330 graphics portfolios (with 4,100 sheets ), 8,800 original graphic individual pages and 550 photographs. The total of 1,700 artists include 380 women.
Before 1990, most of the visual artworks belonged to the Free German Trade Union Federation (Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, FDGB). Other owners were the Council of East Berlin (Magistrat von Berlin) and the GDR cultural funding programme known as the Kulturfonds, as well as the Free German Youth movement (Freie Deutsche Jugend, FDJ), the Cultural Association of the GDR (Kulturbund), the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED ), the Society for German-Soviet Friendship (Deutsch-Sowjetische Freundschaft, DSF) and the bloc parties. The smallest collections came from the League for International Friendship (Liga für Völkerfreundschaft) and the Sport and Technology Society (Gesellschaft für Sport und Technik, GST).
Sorted by federal state, 11,900 pieces come from Berlin, 3,480 from Brandenburg and 1,620 from Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
The Art Archive’s collection also includes 1,500 works of applied arts and pieces by non-professionals.Close
The extensive collection of the Beeskow Art Archive is entirely dedicated to the general public. Thus, in addition to preserving the artworks, the archive’s work focuses on their historical contextualisation and availability for public discourse. This involves the development of its own exhibition and projects, as well as making the archive available to colleagues and allowing external projects to access its objects.
We look forward to your loan enquiries! These should be made at least four months before the planned loan period. Please briefly state the following points in your enquiry: exhibition concept, description of your institution and the exhibition conditions.
We will send potential borrowers a reply after a short period of internal consideration.
Tel.: +49 (0)3366 – 35 2735
In addition to its art collection, the Beeskow Art Archive also has an extensive collection of specialist literature on the complex of themes relating to the art and cultural history of the GDR.
The non-loan library is open to anyone interested. Please contact us before your visit.
Tel.: +49 (0)3366 – 35 2733
The Beeskow Art Archive regards itself as a cooperative research facility and as a public store of history: researchers, curators, students and anyone interested in history are invited to investigate the stored collection of artworks and objects by over 1,700 artists.
Cooperation with universities, museums and research facilities above all encourage the digital documentation of the collection and enable their broad-based reception. The cooperative project “Bildatlas: Kunst in der DDR” (“Image Atlas: Art in the GDR”, 2009 to 2012) led to the academic and digital documentation of the paintings in Beeskow, which was combined with the general inventory (2015 to 2019) to form the basis of further research.Close
From 2009 to 2012, the Beeskow Art Archive cooperated with the Technische Universität Dresden, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam in implementing the joint project “DDR-Depotkunst und Geschichtsvergegenwärtigung” (“GDR Depot Art and the Visualisation of History”).
The project’s declared aim was to make the diverse collections of GDR art, which had disappeared from public spaces as a result of the social upheaval, “visible” in the form of an electronic “image atlas”. The project was accompanied by the production of extensive networking and presentation material, including a database-supported image-source edition.