We are the DDB: Kunstbibliothek (Art Library), State Museums of Berlin

The Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin is an art and visual sciences institute with a history going back more than 150 years. Today it includes one of the largest libraries on art and culture as well as unique museum collections on architecture, book art, graphic design, photography and fashion. Following the guiding principle of a network of museum, research, teaching, science and creative practice, she seeks creative connections between the past and the present.

Louis John Rhead, Morning Journal. A Modern Newspaper, 1895, poster (lithograph), 117.3 x 151 cm Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

Early posters 1840-1914

Within its poster collection, the Kunstbibliothek der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin has an outstanding collection of international posters from the first decades of poster history: Around 3,600 originals from the years 1840 to 1914, printed in Europe and the USA, were completely captured, scanned, transcribed and tagged for the first time thanks to the digitisation funding of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library) 2021/22. 

Les 2 Harc. Ohne jede Concurrenz (With No Competition) - Great Novelty, around 1900, poster (lithograph), 119.5 x 78.8 cm, art library, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

. The project was financed with funds from the programme Neustart Kultur (New Start Culture) of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM). These treasures of the graphic design collection are not only rare documents of design, advertising and printing history, but also valuable as sources of images from the history of time and culture, because they illustrate technical advances, products and events, even political and social ideas. Stylistically, the transitions from historicism to Art Nouveau and further to a new objectivity become clear, as well as creative parallels in different countries. Over 900 designers from 16 European countries and the USA are represented, including Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Cheret, Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Edward Penfield, William Bradley, Ethel Reed, Lucian Bernhard and Julius Klinger.

Aenne Koken: Appels Delikatessen überall gegessen (Appel's delicacies eaten everywhere), 1911-1913, poster (lithograph), 30.1 x 48.5 cm, Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

Early posters from Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

All objects of the Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek