Locations of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) has its seat in Berlin. The many buildings of its five institutions are found in various locations in the city. Some of them are historical sites of the Prussian collections. They existed long before the Foundation was established. Other locations evolved as a result of the Foundation’s conceptual planning, first in a divided Berlin and since 1990 in a reunited Berlin.
The origins of Berlin’s museum landscape are to be found on the Museumsinsel (Museum Island). At the start of the twentieth century, the building of today’s Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) on the boulevard Unter den Linden was also constructed in city’s historical center. In the 1920s a new museum and archives building was built in Dahlem.
After Berlin was divided, the successor institutions to the Prussian collections in East Germany were essentially still in their original historical buildings. In the western part of the city, by contrast, the Foundation, which was established in 1957, began elaborate planning for new places to house the Prussian collections. Yet the prospect of reunification was never forgotten. Because of old construction projects that had been begun, it was decided to make Dahlem the main location. Another location grew up in Charlottenburg around the Schloss (Charlottenburg Palace). Beginning in the 1960s, new buildings for several of the Foundation’s institutions were constructed at the Kulturforum.
Today, four of the Foundation’s five institutions are represented at the Kulturforum. Only the Geheimes Staatsarchiv PK (Prussian Secret State Archives) has its seat exclusively in Dahlem. The Museumsinsel has once again developed into the site for antiquity and Western art. Charlottenburg is the “quartier français″ of twentieth-century art, characterized by museums devoted to one collector. With the opening of the Humboldt Forum in a few years, and the associated move of the non-European collections, both the location in the center of Berlin and that in Dahlem will once again change fundamentally.