Aerial view of the Kulturforum © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Maximilian Meisse
Museumsinsel, view of the Nationalgalerie (today Alte Nationalgalerie) from the Berlin Cathedral, Neues Museum on the left, 1899 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Zentralarchiv; CC NC-BY-SA
Aerial view of the Museumsinsel Berlin, July 2009 © bpk / DOM publishers
The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, with its many museums, falls under the umbrella of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation). The other organizations that fall under the auspices of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) are the Staatsbibliothek (state library of Berlin), Geheimes Staatsarchiv (an archive of Prussian state documents), the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (a specialist library of Spanish- and Portuguese-language literature), and the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung (a musicological research institute which has its own museum: the Musikinstrumenten-Museum). The SPK was founded in 1957 to preserve and continually enrich the cultural artefacts belonging to the former state of Prussia. The SPK is funded by the federal German government and all 16 of Germany’s individual states.
With its numerous institutions that have evolved over generations, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin constitutes an encyclopaedic museum, spread over many different sites, that aims to preserve, research, and display art treasures and cultural artefacts dating from all human history, and educate the public about their importance. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collections encompass the fields of European and non-European art, archaeology and ethnology from virtually all nations, cultures, and periods.