International Scholarship Programme at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
The scholarship programme, which was launched in 2009, enables scholars from all over the world to undertake one- to three-month research residencies at the institutions of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin − Preußischer Kulturbesitz (National Museums in Berlin − Prussian Cultural Heritage).
Research projects at the National Museums in Berlin
Beside the classic research institutions of the National Museums in Berlin - the Central Archive, the Rathgen Research Laboratory and the Institute of Museum Research - individual collections also collaborate in a variety of international and national research projects. This page offers an overview of research activities in individual collections of the National Museums in Berlin.
Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection
Naga Project, Sudan
Since excavations by the Egyptian Museum, Berlin began in Naga on 5 February 1995, archaeological work in the steppes of Northern Sudan is being carried out in the form of annual campaigns, each approximately 12 weeks in length, undertaken in the months January to March as well as in November. The excavations have been made possible by support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian Museum Berlin, in close cooperation with the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, the Sudanese Embassy in Berlin and the German Embassy in Khartoum. The Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage has strengthened the project's long-term prospects by adding field research to one of its research staff's areas of responsibility (Karla Kroeper).
The Berlin Naga project has evolved into a very successful venture which is now not only highly regarded by the scientific community, but also by the Sudanese and international media. An initial assessment of its achievements so far was presented in a small temporary exhibition which went on show in 1998 and 1999 in Bonn, Ingolstadt and Hanover and the publications accompanying this exhibition made Naga known to a wider public. The first results of the excavations were able to be incorporated into the special exhibition entitled 'Sudan - Ancient Kingdom on the Nile', which was orchestrated by the Egyptian Museum, Berlin and went on show in six European cities between 1996 and 1998. On the back of this exhibition, the Naga project managed to incorporate the art and culture of ancient Sudan, and the Kingdom of Meroë in particular, into the broader historical picture of the ancient world. From 300 BC to 350 AD, the Kingdom of Meroë was Egypt's powerful southerly neighbour during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.
Naga presents itself as a city which was not destroyed after its demise; a city which holds the promise of intact finds which have surrendered themselves to natural forces of decay. The diverse finds in the Amun Temple lead us to believe that further significant finds will also be brought to light in the excavation of the secular buildings in the area of the town. Following the conclusions of the surface survey, these excavations are due to begin at the sites of certain structures.
The stele finds bearing the name of Queen Amanishakheto have thrown up a new set of questions concerning the history of the Meroitic Kingdom at the time around the start of the Common Era.
For art historical purposes, the finds of statues are just as valuable as those of stelae, in that they serve as fixed points by which to date similar works whose context are not known to us. The Naga figures are a welcome addition to the short list of Meroitic sculptures with definite dates attributed to them. The high quality of the reliefs on the altar in 104 and on the stelae poses the question as to the mutual relationship between Meroitic and Egyptian art at this time.
Bibliography of Naga
Gemäldegalerie - Old Master Paintings:
Larger Exhibition and Research Projects
- Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki. The Paintings. Exhibition and complete catalogue of holdings (Rainer Michaelis, in cooperation with the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, scheduled for 2009)
- Gesichter der Renaissance. Masterpieces of Italian Portraiture - Bode-Museum, Museumsinsel Berlin, Berlin 25. August - 20. November 2011, Stefan Weppelmann, in Kooperation mit dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Annotated Catalogues Raisonnés
- Die altdeutschen Gemälde des 13. - 15. Jahrhunderts / Old German Paintings from the 13th to 15th centuries (Dr. Stephan Kemperdick, technological research: Beatrix Graf, supported by The Getty Grant Program)
- Die deutschen, englischen und französischen Miniaturen des 18. Jahrhunderts in der Berliner Gemäldegalerie / 18th Century German, English and French Miniatures in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie (Rainer Michaelis, technological research: Ute Stehr)
- Die deutschen Gemälde des 17. Jahrhunderts / 17th Century German Painting (Rainer Michaelis, in cooperation with the University of Trier, technological research: Ute Stehr)
- Die oberitalienischen Gemälde des 15. Jahrhunderts / 15th Century Northern Italian Painting (Stefan Weppelmann, Catarina Schmidt-Arcangeli, technological research: Maria Reimelt, Claudia Laurenze-Landsberg, supported by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation)
Further Research Projects and Cooperation
- Neutron autoradiography of paintings: Gemäldegalerie in cooperation with the Hahn-Meitner Institute in Berlin; scientific and technical research into the build up of paint layers in paintings by means of neutron autoradiography (Claudia Laurenze-Landsberg, Christoph Schmidt)
- Technological research on paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder, in cooperation with the Stiftung Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG), as part of the preparation of a complete catalogue of works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and German paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries belonging to the SPSG
- Technological research on paintings by Jean-Antoine Watteau in cooperation with the Stiftung Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) as part of the preparation of a complete catalogue of 'French Painting in the Prussian Palaces' (project 'Watteau - Lancret - Pater', supported by The Getty Grant Program)
- Research on the history of restoration in the Gemäldegalerie - Old Master Paintings (Ute Stehr)
Kupferstichkabinett - Museum of Prints and Drawings:
Simultaneously based on a high level of research activity and aimed at a broad public, the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett - Museum of Prints and Drawings is one of the most important institutional contributors to a public understanding of study and research. As one of the Berlin National Museums, the Kupferstichkabinett possesses an expertise and excellent research reputation which reaches far beyond professional circles. In the face of a steady growth of service tasks, these qualities are constantly put to the test. One of the essential remits of our museum is to critically analyse and publish the sustained results of research and communicate those findings to the public in intelligible fashion - especially through the organisation of important exhibitions. Owing to its special profile and its function as a museum of graphic arts, the Kupferstichkabinett has dedicated itself to the acquisition of knowledge, the raising of a public awareness of creative processes and abstract concepts in the context of original works of art, a sharpening of ideas and senses, as well as the promotion of the understanding of art and its mediation in concrete terms.
The specific competence of the Kupferstichkabinett makes it an important partner in national and international networks and collaborations, in distinguished top-level projects as much as in events aimed immediately at a large audience. On account of its research respectability, the Kupferstichkabinett promotes the unswerving acceptance of cultural goods, subjects and values to a broad public and displays a high professional, scholarly and ethical responsibility in working for its aims and duties in the midst of our society.
Current research and exhibition projects
- Die Revolution der Kunst um 1970 - Sammlung Marzona (The revolution of art - the Marzona Collection): Dr. Andreas Schalhorn, Dr. Michael Lailach; exhibition and catalogue in spring 2007
- Michelangelo und die Mauern von Florenz (Michelangelo and the walls of Florence): Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schulze Altcappenberg; research project on "Artist subjectivity in the Early Renaissance" in cooperation with the Humboldt University Berlin, the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz/Max-Planck-Institut and the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti, Florenz; exhibition scheduled for late 2007/2008
- Matthias Grünewald. Zeichnungen und Gemälde (Matthias Grunewald. Drawings and Paintings): Dr. Michael Roth; exhibition and complete catalogue of the drawings of the great German Renaissance artist / research and exhibition project 2008 in cooperation with the Musée d'Unterlinden in Colmar and the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
- Das Menschenbild der deutschen Renaissance (The image of man in the German Renaissance): Dr. Michael Roth, Dr. Antje-Fee Köllermann; exhibition project for 2008 at the Kulturforum; in cooperation with the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in München and the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn
- Verismus und Neue Sachlichkeit (Verism and New Sobriety): Dr. Anita Beloubek-Hammer; exhibition and catalogue of holdings, 2009/10, Kulturforum
- "A Teaching Compendium for Paper and Water": Irene Brückle; essential study in conservational research; supported by the EU and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
- Research and analysis of silver point drawings (Dr. Michael Roth): Interdisciplinary project in cooperation with the Rathgen Research Laboratory of the National Museums in Berlin, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung BAM and the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, C2RMF, at the Louvre. The findings of this research collaboration will go towards a middle-term project on the scholarly reassessment of German drawings of the 15th century at the Kupferstichkabinett. The higher aim here is to bring to completion the comprehensive cataloguing of all 15th century drawings held at the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. Whereas the holdings of Italian and Dutch drawings have recently been reviewed afresh, the German drawings of that century are still awaiting re-examination. The research on the latter will be carried out in cooperation with the "Corpus of German and Dutch Drawings before 1500"; findings will eventually be published in a collection catalogue and made accessible in an exhibition aimed at a large audience.
- The German 15th century drawings at the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett: Dr. Michael Roth; complete catalogue
- Deutsch/deutsche Graphik seit 1945 (German prints and drawings from East and West Germany after 1945): Dr. Anita Beloubek-Hammer; exhibition project, a comparison of works of graphic art in the GDR and the Federal Republic
- Rembrandt School Drawings: Dr. Holm Bevers. The critical catalogue of the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett's holdings of Rembrandt drawings, published in August 2006, is to be supplemented with a catalogue of drawings by the Rembrandt school. This will comprise around 150 works which can with certainty be attributed to pupils of Rembrandt. It will also include drawings which - as established in the essential oeuvre catalogue by Otto Benesch, published 1954-57 - up until recently were regarded as works by the master himself but can, according to the latest research, be attributed to his pupils. This applies to more than 50% of the previous "Rembrandt" holdings; that is, around seventy drawings. Additionally, the collection includes some eighty further works in the style of Rembrandt. Dr. Bevers is one of four authors who contribute to the comprehensive exhibition on Rembrandt and Rembrandt school drawings which will be shown at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in late 2009. The contribution to this effectively represents the preliminary work for the Berlin catalogue which is scheduled for publication in 2011/12.
- Supplement to the Bock/Rosenberg catalogue of Dutch drawings (1930): Dr. Holm Bevers. In 1930, Elfried Bock and Jakob Rosenberg published the complete catalogue of Dutch drawings at the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. It includes all Flemish and Dutch schools from around 1420 to 1800. Not included, however, are the works acquired after 1930, in addition to some works which the authors left out for reasons unknown. These, adding up to a total of approximately 400 drawings, will be catalogued and critically analysed in a supplementary publication. No publication date has as yet been fixed.
- Erich Mendelsohn. Bestandsverzeichnis der Zeichnungen in der Kunstbibliothek (Complete catalogue of drawings held at the Kunstbibliothek): Dr. Sigrid Achenbach
- Die Schinkel-Sammlung im Kupferstichkabinett - Zur Rekonstruktion eines Museums (The Schinkel collection at the Kupferstichkabinett - On the reconstruction of a museum): Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schulze Altcappenberg, Dr. Sigrid Achenbach, Irene Brückle and others. Project aimed at a comprehensive inventory and the physical preservation of the Schinkel collection at the Kupferstichkabinett. Following an interdisciplinary approach, from 2009, art historians, conservators and restorers, as well as media specialists, will jointly research the core of the Schinkel Museum, originally held at the Bauakademie, Schinkel's architecture academy building located opposite the city palace, and today part of the Kupferstichkabinett's collection. The aim is to execute conservational measures according to the latest state of knowledge and research, the complete documentation and the digitalisation of all of the approximately 4,000 works by Schinkel, the last "Uomo universale" of art history - including designs for architecture, stage sets, interiors and furniture, fantastic design, free sketches as well as landscapes. This research project, going far beyond the museum landscape, will require the support of third parties. It will culminate in a large exhibition intended to illuminate and re-assess not only the work of Schinkel but the entire era of early Historicism, in particular in the light of the most modern technical innovations of the time, the beginnings of critical-historical research and the massive impetus provided through innovative models of the promotion of art and craft.
Museum of European Cultures:
Migration, Work and Identity. A European History in Museums
In close collaboration with seven other European museums, the Museum of European Cultures on the project "Migration, Work and Identity. A European History in Museums". In this context, from 11th July to 26th October 2003 the Museum of European Cultures showed the exhibition "Migration(s)Geschichte(n)" (Migration: Stories and History).
Museum of Asian Art
Together with the Berlin Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, the Collection of South, Southeast and Central Asian Art is attending to the substantial manuscript collection from the four Central Asian Turfan expeditions during the years of 1902 to 1914, the cataloguing of which has, to date, made considerable progress. As part of a special project, the twenty-one volumes of the so-called "Turfan files" linked to the Turfan expeditions, many sheets of which have become very fragile over the years, have now been scanned and itemised in an inventory. An index offers further a brief description of the content of each of the 8,000 pages as well as a list of names of people, places and other important keywords. Orientalists and historians can now gain quick access to the the material which is not only of interest to researchers of Central Asia but also reflects aspects of the history of science and of museums and sheds light on trade processes, licensing procedures, budget questions and hierarchical structures.
Further information: Dr. Caren Dreyer, Telefon 0049 (0)30 8301 366, email: email@example.com
Museum for Pre- and Early History:
Commission for the Research of Collections of Archaeological Findings and Documents from North-Eastern Europe (Kommission zur Erforschung von Sammlungen archäologischer Funde und Unterlagen aus dem nordöstlichen Mitteleuropa, KAFU)
The Commission for the Research of Collections of Archaeological Findings and Documents from North-Eastern Europe is a network of German, Polish, Russian and Baltic archaeologists who collect all information on archaeological collections in the former Eastern regions of Germany and make it accessible for research. The Commission's office is located in the Museum for Pre- and Early History in Berlin. Currently, the most important focus is on the former Königsberg Prussia Collection, remainders of which are today distributed among museums in Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg), Berlin and Olsztyn. At the annual conferences of the Commission, materials from the individual collections are presented and evaluated. Further information: Prof. Dr. Eike Gringmuth-Dallmer, Museum for Pre- and Early History, telephone: +49-(0)30-32674868.
The focal point of the Museum for Pre- and Early History's project on calendar research is the scientific-academic examination of ancient Egyptian calendars. The aim is the exact survey of Egyptian chronology which the scientist Dr. habil. Rolf Krauss and the Egyptian astronomer Professor Shaltout of Minufiya University will be observing this summer in the Nile valley on the basis of the heliac rise of the ancient Egyptian calendar star Sirius. The rising dates are already known from ancient Egypt. They can be analysed chronologically if the constant parameters of the rises are known. Current observations serve to establish the parameters which so far are insufficiently known. In this context, the "Handbook of Egyptian Chronology" is to be published, as part of Brill's handbook of Oriental Studies.
The Merovingian Monetary Coins as an Interdisciplinary Challenge in Medieval Studies
The Numismatic Collection (Prof. B. Kluge / Dr. K. Dahmen) is currently working on the documentation of its collection of coins from Merovingian times (6th to 8th century AC). Comprising around 500 objects, this collection is, after Paris, the second largest of its kind in Europe. The research project, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), is being carried out in cooperation with the chair of the Medieaval History department at the University of Paderborn (Prof. J. Jarnut), as well as the chairs of Romance Studies (Prof. M. Selig) and German Studies (Prof. A. Greule) at the University of Regensburg. Beside documenting the coins in a comprehensive catalogue, the research intends to review the numerous names of rulers, moneyers and places inscribed in the coins. Here, the cooperation with specialists in history and language studies promises interesting findings of an interdisciplinary character. The aim is a joint publication providing a thorough analysis of the administrative structures of the Frankish Empire and its tribes, based on the numismatic documents, the findings of the name research and historical studies.
Further information: Dr. Karsten Dahmen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Urban Development, Housing and Living Conditions in Ancient Priene
As part of the DFG project and in cooperation with the Department of Archaeology of the University of Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. Wulf Raeck), the Numismatic Collection is analyzing the coins found at recent excavations. The research aims to draw conclusions about the use of bronze currency and the chronology of coins during the mid-Hellenistic period in the Maeander valley.
Further information: Dr. Bernhard Weisser (email@example.com)
A New Research Project in Numismatics: Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris Berlin Wien
The numismatic collections of Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale), Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum) have come together to jointly publish their holdings of Sassanian coins. Paris owns around 7,000 Sassanian coins, Berlin approx. 2,500, and Vienna approx. 1,400. These coins represent an important and so far not sufficiently tapped source on the history of the Sassanian Empire which existed from 224 and 651 AC, centred around the region of present day Iran. Until the 7th century, when it was obliterated through Arab expansion, it intermittently represented the big opponent of the Roman Empire.
Of the final six volumes of Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum (SNS) have so far been published:
- Volume 1, containing the coins of Ardashir I (224 to 240 AC), founder of the Empire, and his successor Shapur I (240 to 272 AC). Authors: Michael Alram and Rika Gyselen
- Volume 3 (in two parts), containing substantial material on the period of 309 to 531 AC, from Shapur II to Kawad I / the second government. Author: Nikolaus Schindel
The complete series of Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum is edited by Michael Alram and Rika Gyselen. Volumes are published at the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ISBN 3-7001-3224-7 and 3-7001-3314-6).
Museum of the Ancient Near East:
Tall Halaf Project
Since 2001 the Tell Halaf Project, funded by the Sal. Oppenheim and Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim Foundations as well as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, has been working on the remains of the Max von Oppenheim-collection. This famous collection which used to be on display in the Berlin Tell Halaf Museum was badly damaged during an air raid in November of 1943. Although the fragments of colossal basalt sculptures could be salvaged and stored in the magazines of the Museum of the Ancient Near East, the monuments were considered beyond restoration. The project's aim is to reassemble and restore the unique artefacts from Tell Halaf (ancient Guzana) dating back to the 1st millennium B.C. The result will be a major addition to the permanent exhibition of the Museum of the Ancient Near East.
After a break of 77 years the excavations at the site of Tell Halaf in North-East Syria were taken up again in August of 2006. It is a joint mission by the State Museums of Berlin and the Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées Damas in co-operation with the universities of Halle and Tübingen. Research is focussed on the settlement's chronology, its structure and geography. Furthermore the excavators hope to gain more insight into the cultural development of the region in the early 1st millennium B.C. as well as to shed some light on the role of the site in prehistoric times.
Information: Dr. Lutz Martin, telephone: +49-(0)30-2090 5305, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell Knedig Project
Between 1993 and 1997, the Museum of Ancient Near East took part in archaeological excavations in the Habur region of North-East Syria. The focus of the scientific research (supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) was, among other things, the clarification of a village-type settlement structure in the early third century B.C. Research results are currently being evaluated and will subsequently be published. They enrich the present knowledge on questions of chronology and function in the Lower Habur region. Additionally, the research results of the excavation make a contribution to the reflections on the topography of the Early Bronze Age in Upper Mesopotamia.
Information: Dr. Lutz Martin, telephone: +49-(0)30-2090 5305, E-Mail: email@example.com
Since 1997, the Museum of the Ancient Near East has been able to expand its holdings through four important collections of ancient near eastern art monuments. Among these are, next to the restored sculptures from the Tell Halaf Museum (destroyed in the Second World War), selected findings from the German rescue excavations at the Syrian river Euphrates in the 1970s and 1980s. A comprehensive presentation of the new collection, however, will only be possible after the Pergamon Museum has been fully restored. On the occasion of the Year of the Humanities, in a lecture series on 8 November 2007 the excavators will talk about their research and present selected recent acquisitions.