As of 1 June 2015, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weisser will become the director of the Münzkabinett (Numismatic Collection) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The Board of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) made the decision at its meeting on 5 December 2014. Weisser has held the post of Assistant Director at the Münzkabinett since the retirement of Prof. Dr. Bernd Kluge on 30 September 2014.
Bernhard Weisser studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, and Prehistory and Early History, and in 1996 was awarded a PhD for his thesis on "The Imperial Coinage of Pergamon”. He also won the German Archaeological Institute’s one-year travelling scholarship. He has an excellent reputation and outstanding contacts in the world of numismatic scholarship. In 2009 he was made an honorary professor at the Winckelmann-Institut at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and in the same year became Berlin’s regional representative on the Numismatische Kommission der Länder (German Commission of Numismatists). He acts as numismatic expert at contests to design special and commemorative coins, and he is also the first president of the German Society for Medal Art. In 2013, the Gesellschaft für Internationale Geldgeschichte (Association for the International History of Money) awarded him their special prize.
Bernhard Weisser began his career at the Münzkabinett in 1996, first as a trainee museum assistant and then as a member of the research staff. In 2003 he became a curator and in 2009 he was appointed Assistant Director. Over this period he has been responsible for many top-level exhibitions and has supervised several research projects. Particularly noteworthy is his development of an interactive catalogue of Münzkabinett holdings, the most comprehensive on-line publication of a coin collection in any German-speaking country (www.smb.museum/ikmk).
Alongside the development of exhibitions, Weisser sees the digitalisation of the Münzkabinett’s entire holdings and their publication on the internet as an important way of enhancing the Münzkabinett’s leading role in German numismatics. At the same time, he would like to see more object-focussed research, for instance in the area of Islamic coins, which has received little attention so far. And another important task, he realises, is to nurture an interest in numismatics among the next generation.