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Akademie der Künste in Berlin
Akademie der Künste © visitBerlin, Foto: Angela Kröll

Akademie der Künste

Art and culture in two areas

"The Akademie der Künste facilitates advancement of the arts", says the concept of the Art Academy. Every member of the Academy has made a name for themselves in art. Max Liebermann, Bertolt Brecht and Käthe Kollwitz are all members. Six arts disciplines are represented: art and architecture, music and literature, performing arts, film and media art. Temporary exhibitions, lectures and concerts are held in all disciplines. Writer Arno Schmidt was the focus throughout 2015, and 2016 featured exhibition and talks relating to "Children in Exile". You'll find the Akademie der Künste at two locations: the modern glass building directly at the Brandenburg Gate and a complex building from the 1960s on Hanseatenweg.

The Academy: 300 years of tradition

In 1696, elector Friedrich III establishes the Akademie der Künste. As with the examples in Paris and Rome, its ambition is to advise and represent the artist community. Each discipline is associated with the local universities. Changing presidents have led the academy, including Max Liebermann, Günter Grass and Jeanine Meerapfel. National Socialism restricted their liberal values greatly, meaning that members like Käthe Kollwitz needed to escape. Later, the academy is divided into eastern and western sections. Since 1993, the Akademie der Künste has been reunited. Today it is an entity under the law of the Federal Republic. The academy represents Germany in terms of art, promoting its intellectual property and maintaining its cultural heritage.

The head office is located at Pariser Platz, in a modern glass building which opens in 2005, it has bright, open floors, stairs and many glass elements. It is here that most of the exhibitions and events take place. Different disciplines engage visitors with poetry readings, talks, innovative concerts and art performances. The academy's president is in constant discussion with artists about new trajectories in individual fields. This tradition goes back over 200 years. The building on Hanseatenweg dates back to the 1960s. Architectural features are grey concrete, red brick, slate tiles and dark pine wood: all of which is in marked contrast to the ease of the new building. Here you will find exhibition spaces and studios for electro-acoustic music. Additionally, there are workshops for young academicians.

What you can see

  • Henry Moore's sculpture "Die Liegende" in front of the main Hanseatenweg entrance.
  • Glass balcony at Pariser Platz overlooking the Brandenburg Gate.
  • "Kunstpreis Berlin", annual awards in all six disciplines.
  • "Journal of Arts" published four times a year, available free of charge.
  • Cultural exchange: film, performances, talks, exhibitions and concerts.

Exhibitions nearby

The Bundestag has its own art collection, the Artothek, with changing exhibitions of over 4,000 works including those by Joseph Beuys and Jenny Holzer. The Czech Centre has a gallery which focuses on contemporary art and photography. You can also find the Liebermann House's changing art exhibits at the Brandenburg Gate. The well-known presidents of the Akademie der Künste have lived here. The Daimler Contemporary at Potsdamer Platz focuses on abstraction and minimalism in the 20th century. Thanks to its Renaissance style architecture, Martin-Gropius-Bau is a work of art in itself. Inside, you can expect to see top-notch and internationally significant exhibitions.

Tips for your visit to the Academy of Arts

The Akademie der Künste Pariser Platz is easily accessed from the S-Bahn (S1, S2) or U-Bahn (U55) to the Brandenburger Tor station. Access to the Hanseatenweg building is easiest from Hansa Platz (U9) underground station or the S-Bahn stop Bellevue (S5, S7). From there, it is a few minutes' walk away. Both locations are open daily with events according to programme.