The archive is the memory of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. The files tell the story of the institution and its collections from its creation in 1799 until today. They make transparent how the works of art came together and how the galleries were created and developed over the course of time. They report on rescue, loss and destruction during wartime and on reconstruction during peace-time and allow the museum’s everyday life during changing times to come alive before the reader’s eyes. They also tell the story of the people who were active here during the institution’s 200 years of existence.
Unlike in other Bavarian authorities, where written correspondence concerning completed operations is typically, at some point, compiled, partially sorted out, handed over and mostly forgotten about, surviving written documentation is part of the daily toolbox used by the art historian or conservator. The archival records – including official records, inventories and visual documentation – are collection items for safekeeping and objects for research, just as the artworks themselves are.
Following the first consignment in summer, the transfer of the remaining files to the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian state archives) was completed in December 2017. As such, all archival material from the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections), up to and including 1980 (with the exception of a few instances that have not yet been completed), has been handed over and can only be viewed in future in Schönfeldstraße (Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv). A total of 3342 items, either bound or in folders, have passed to the Hauptstaatsarchiv.