The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz's board of trustees, chaired by Monika Grütters, Germany's Minister of Culture, today unanimously agreed on key management appointments for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
As of 1 August 2016, Michael Eissenhauer will take over as simultaneous director of the Gemäldegalerie and Skulpturensammlung and Museum für Byzantinische Kunst. The director-general of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is taking on this additional post at his own request, for an initial period of 3 years, following the pending retirement of Bernd Lindemann. It is hoped that this dual role will significantly strengthen the continued merger of the two unique old master collections. Eissenhauer aims to develop common formats for exhibitions and research projects, and to substantially intensify and expand theme-based collaborations with other collections at the SMB. This applies in particular to the Kupferstichkabinett, one of the world's richest collections of art in the graphic medium. Eissenhauer aims to speed up the introduction of various artistic media that give visitors the chance to explore the works in more detail. Historically, the dual office is nothing new: Wilhelm von Bode set the precedent in 1905 and until 2008 Peter-Klaus Schuster was simultaneously director-general of the SMB and director of the Nationalgalerie.
The work contract with the current director of the Nationalgalerie, Udo Kittelmann, has been extended for another five years, until October 31, 2020. The Trustees praised his very successful work so far. They also emphasized how Kittelmann has fulfilled all expectations placed on him. Kittelmann, 57, has shaped the programme of the Alte and Neue Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, and Museum Berggruen since November 2008. He has underscored the importance, in the public's awareness, of the collection as the bedrock of the museum. Furthermore, he has been behind a string of exhibitions that have garnered national and international acclaim and been, for the most part, hits with the public, and has overseen the enrichment of the Nationalgalerie's collection through a series of major endowments and acquisitions.