The idea of establishing a collection of calligraphy works in Berlin's
Akademie der Künste dates back to the initiative of Hans-Joachim Burgert,
one of Germany's most significant calligraphers. Beginning with his gifting
of 70 works of his own and thanks largely to the esteem in which his opus is
held and to his international network of professional and personal contacts
it was possible, in a short period of time, to build up a remarkable
collection providing a representative cross-section of calligraphy in the
second half of the 20th century. The Collection was put together from
permanent loans and donations, and gifted works continue to form the basis
of its growth. The Collection focuses on three areas - Latin script,
variations in form and the practical approach to writing characters.
The Berlin Calligraphy Collection houses works by contemporary calligraphers
and is oriented towards calligraphy of the present day. Here you will find
works by established German and international masters and by younger,
comparatively unknown artists, giving rise to a blend of works that provides
an impressive insight in the development of calligraphy over the last 40 or
Founded in 1999 the Collection houses about 1000 sheets of calligraphy,
prints, reproductions, typographical clean copies, posters and poster
designs, book covers, artist books, pages of accidence and archive materials
providing information on the calligraphers and their work.
The estate of Friedrich Poppl and the archives of Hans-Joachim Burgert and
Werner Schneider form the three pillars of the Berlin collection.
This selection of works encompasses the entire spectrum of calligraphic
forms. On display are classical, flowing and black-letter scripts from
antiqua to cursive, which are easily readable, and freer, more expressive
handwriting forms that produce less legible texts. Unusual materials and
techniques add a special touch to a particular script. Primacy is given not
to the information per se but to its interpretation.
On initiative of Hans-Joachim Burgert correspondents were appointed to the
Berlin Collection of Calligraphie in 2008. Prof. Werner Schneider, Denise
Lach, Thomas Ingmire and Benno Aumann continue his initiated work which
provides the conservation and promulgation of the "Visualisation of the
word" in his sense.
Professor Hans-Joachim Burgert died on 30th
January 2009. The loss that his death represents to the calligraphy of
the recent past is something that calligraphers and appreciators of
calligraphy must judge for themselves. In founding the Berlin
Calligraphy Collection and building it up over the last ten years of
his life he served the institution in ways that are unquantifiable.
All those involved in working for the Collection will miss his
professional advice, his valuable criticism, his scholarship and
In January 2011 the appointed correspondent Helga Ladurner deceased.
We will always look back on her great engagement for the Berlin
Collection of Calligraphy which finished unfortunately too early.