Glue house

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Glue house
Gleimhaus exterior view.JPG
Glue house. Old and new buildings
place Halberstadt coordinates: 51 ° 53 '47.6 "  N , 11 ° 2' 59.4"  EWorld icon
opening 1862
ISIL DE-MUS-804713

The Gleimhaus in Halberstadt is one of the oldest German literary museums . It was set up in 1862 in the former home of the poet and collector Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719–1803). The half-timbered house lies behind the choir of the Gothic cathedral in Halberstadt . The Gleimhaus collections go back to the Gleim estate.

Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim

Gleim was a popular poet in his day. His collection of poems, Experiment in Joking Songs (1744/1745), is one of the most important early documents of German anacreontics . His romances (1756) influenced the ballad poetry of the Sturm und Drang generation. His Prussian War Songs (1757/1758) were a milestone in the effort to bring the popular into German poetry. His fable poems can be found in school books to this day. Nevertheless, from a modern point of view, Gleim appears more as a transitional figure in German literary history. It has been overtaken by the more recent literary developments since the 1770s. To this day he is of paramount importance as a patron , collector and exponent of the friendship cult of his time. Gleim came to Halberstadt in 1747 to become “Cathedral Secretary”, d. H. To become administrator of the cathedral monastery. Supported by a socio-ethical friendship idea, Gleim created a network of literary communication and made Halberstadt a literary center in Germany alongside the representatives of the Literary Society .

The collections

Gleim's collections are characterized by a unique connection between picture, book and letter and serve his intensive cult of friendship; The absent friends were to be brought to light through their portraits, their works, and letters. The collections passed into the possession of the "Gleim'schen Family Foundation" and were provided for public use by will.

Gleim has the largest collection of portraits by writers and important contemporaries of the 18th century. While he initially only let his close friends paint, the circle of those portrayed expanded over the decades. At his death the number of portraits was about 150; Today, the Gleimhaus preserves around 130 portrait paintings of personalities from the 18th and early 19th centuries, including portraits of Ewald von Kleist , Karl Wilhelm Ramler , Johann Joachim Winckelmann , Gotthold Ephraim Lessing , Klopstock , Anna Louisa Karsch , Sophie von La Roche , Elisa von der Recke , Johann Jakob Bodmer , Salomon Gessner , Herder , Wilhelm Heinse , Jean Paul . Many of the most important portraitists of the second half of the 18th century are represented with one or more works, such as Anton Graff , Jens Juel , Georg Oswald May , Benjamin Calau , Gottfried Hempel , several members of the Tischbein family , Johann Friedrich Eich, Friedrich Georg Weitsch , Johann Heinrich Ramberg, Georg Friedrich Adolph Schöner .

Gleim's intense social culture resulted in an immense archive of letters. Correspondents included the writers Lessing, Klopstock, Wieland , Ewald von Kleist and Herder, the poet Anna Louisa Karsch, the painter Bernhard Rode , the theologian Spalding and the aesthetician Sulzer as well as the Count's House of Stolberg-Wernigerode . In total, the Gleimhaus manuscript collection contains around 10,000 letters from over 500 correspondence from Gleim (originals, drafts and contemporary copies, including over 2000 from Gleim, otherwise An-Letters or letters from correspondence between Gleim friends and third parties). There are also over 1,000 manuscripts (poetic bequests from Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, Jakob Immanuel Pyra , Ewald v. Kleist, Johann Benjamin Michaelis ; partial estate from Anna Louisa Karsch; isolated manuscripts from Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Johann Peter Uz , Lessing, Ramler, Heinse, Johann Heinrich Voss and others). In addition, there are a few personal documents of Gleim and his family, including scraps of wallpaper from Gleim's summer house with handwritten notes made by his friends.

The sociable, learned, friendly and literary correspondence in northern and central Germany in the second half of the 18th century, concentrating on the connection between picture, book and letter, has been handed down in a bundle like no other house of this type.

Gleim's largely preserved book collection is considered one of the largest civil private libraries of the 18th century. It comprises around 12,000 volumes, including over 50 incunabula , around 800 titles from the 16th century and around 1,200 from the 17th century. The largest part dates from the 18th and early 19th centuries, including numerous dedicatory copies. The library focuses on European literature from the second half of the 18th century and also contains larger holdings on literary and art history, economic, social, cultural and political history as well as natural science, preferably from the 18th century.

These collections are the largest closed literary estate of the 18th century at the historical location in the original collection concept and can be regarded as the first German literary archive. The portrait collection and the letter archive can be researched on the Gleimhaus website.

Collection history / history of the museum

Many famous writers were guests at the Gleimhaus

After Gleim's death, the great-nephew and estate administrator Friedrich Wilhelm Körte (1776–1846) kept the collections in his house, also on Domplatz in Halberstadt, and published them. After his death, the holdings were stored in the Domgymnasium until the Gleim'sche Family Foundation bought the former Gleim house in 1861 and made the collections publicly accessible in a 'Memorial for Gleim' in 1862 under the name “Gleimhaus”. This is one of the oldest German literary museums. All of its holdings were available for research from the start.

The holdings were expanded by the family foundation and the Gleimhaus. In the second half of the 19th century, part of the graphic, book and manuscript collection of the Halberstadt cathedral preacher Christian Friedrich Bernhard Augustin (1771–1856) was incorporated into the Gleimhaus. A separate collection of prints and hand drawings was also built up, which today contains around 12,000 sheets and covers the period from the end of the 15th century to the present day, with a focus on portrait graphics from the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1898, the family foundation sold the house and the collections to the city of Halberstadt, which operated the Gleimhaus until the end of 1994 and which in turn - within the scope of the financial possibilities - provided for the addition to the collection and the establishment of a scientific library.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the memorial figure of Anna Louisa Karsch was transferred to the Gleimhaus by JC Stubinitzky , which was erected in 1784 in the " Spiegelsberge " landscape park near Halberstadt as the first poet monument in Germany designed in the form of a portrait statue.

During the Second World War, around a sixth of the historical book inventory as well as isolated manuscripts and pictures were spoiled or destroyed (return of a large part of the 'booty' books after 1997). The Gleimhaus building was also damaged in the attack on Halberstadt on April 8, 1945. The museum reopened in August 1946. In autumn 1949, the exhibition “Goethe rose from this world” was presented at the Käthe-Kollwitz-Gymnasium Halberstadt.

In the course of the 20th century, some (partial) estates from artists from the 19th and 20th centuries from the Halberstadt / Quedlinburg region ( Julius Barheine , Willi Otto Brennwald , Walter Gemm , Dorothea Milde , Johann David Grüson and Otto Illies ) came to the glue house. Selected works from here are presented in a “gallery of artists of the region” together with some other objects (Johann-Peter Hinz, Daniel Priese, Annedore Policek, Hans-Georg Losert), some of which are on permanent loan in the house.

In 1994 a museum extension for the Gleimhaus with storage rooms, reading room, event and conference room and a paper restoration workshop was completed. It is the first new museum building in the new federal states after the political change. With this spatial expansion, the Gleimhaus has been able to do justice to its content orientation as a museum and research facility.

In the course of the political changes from 1989 and the restructuring of the cultural landscape in Halberstadt, at the beginning of 1995 the city of Halberstadt became the sponsor for the Gleimhaus, the “Förderkreis Gleimhaus e. V. “(founded in 1990, entered in the register of associations in 1991). The house and the collections remain the property of the city of Halberstadt. In addition to generating its own income, the sponsoring association is subsidized by the city of Halberstadt and the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

In the first steps since the beginning of the 1990s and increasingly since 1995, numerous new acquisitions in the library, the manuscript collection and the graphic collection - often supported by private donors - were possible. Books, manuscripts and some paintings were also bought by the state of Saxony-Anhalt and made available to the Gleimhaus on permanent loan . Since 1995, when the extension was completed, the Gleimhaus has regularly presented special exhibitions with its own and third-party holdings. The most extensive to date was the exhibition “The Century of Friendship. Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim and his contemporaries ”(2004).

Also since 1995, the Gleim Literature Prize for important literature on the 18th century has been awarded every two years by the Förderkreis Gleimhaus e. V. awarded. Educational museum offers and a varied program of events for adults and children aim to fill Gleim's former home with life as it did in the 18th century. Since 1999 scientific conferences have been held in the Gleimhaus in cooperation with specialist colleagues from universities and museums. This also includes workshops for young scientists and student seminars.

Gleim's friendship stamp

Museum presentation

The centerpiece of the museum presentation of the Gleimhaus is the so-called “friendship temple” Gleim. These are the rooms on the upper floor, the walls of which are hung tightly together with Gleim's portrait paintings and in which parties and readings took place with friends during his lifetime. You can also see books and manuscripts from the Gleimhaus collections as well as Gleim's original writing chair. In a special room, children can experience the 18th century with all their senses.


In 2003, the state initiative " Saxony-Anhalt and the 18th Century ", prepared by the Museumsverband Sachsen-Anhalt e. V. and the Gleimhaus, under the patronage of the Prime Minister Wolfgang Böhmer with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Saxony-Anhalt. The Gleimhaus is in charge of this long-term cultural tourism as well as museum and science-oriented initiative, in which around 25 museum institutions with important collections from the 18th century are involved as main partners and numerous other institutions in the state of Saxony-Anhalt as secondary partners.

The Gleimhaus has been commissioned by the state's Ministry of Culture to coordinate the measures taken by third parties to maintain the literary tradition in Saxony-Anhalt and to contribute to publications on the literary heritage. The paper restoration workshop of the Gleimhaus advises museums in Saxony-Anhalt through further training with regard to the inventory of paper, books and graphics.


In 2004, Halberstadt's badge of honor " Silver Roland " was given to the Förderkreis Gleimhaus e. V. awarded. In 2005 the Gleimhaus (together with the Museum of Prehistory, Halle) received the Museum Prize of the East German Sparkasse Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt . The Gleimhaus was included in the federal government's blue book as a “cultural memorial of particular national importance”.


  • The friendship stamp in the Gleimhaus in Halberstadt. 18th century portraits. Inventory catalog. Arranged by Horst Scholke with e. Essay by Wolfgang Adam. Leipzig 2000, 2nd edition 2004.
  • Karl-Otto Schulz: Inventory of the Gleimbibliothek (author catalog). 1-7 Delivery AZ. Halberstadt 1985-1993 [7. Delivery in 2., exp. 2002 edition]
  • Letters and Portraits. Arranged by Horst Scholke and Gerlinde Wappler. Halberstadt 1986. ( The collections of the Gleimhaus, part 1.)
  • Directory of part of the collection of copper engravings and books by Johann Wilhelm Ludewig Gleim ... [Ed. by Wilhelm Körte]. Halberstadt 1804. Reprint with e. Follow-up by Reinhard Selz. Leipzig 1987.
  • Doris Schumacher: Friendship beyond death. The bourgeois culture of remembrance in the 18th century using the example of Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim. In: The Century of Friendship. Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim and his contemporaries. Edited by Ute Pott. Göttingen 2004 ( Schriften des Gleimhauses, 3), pp. 33–52.
  • Ute Pott: From the spirit of friendship. A literature archive for posterity. Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim as a collector. In: The Century of Friendship. Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim and his contemporaries. Edited by Ute Pott. Göttingen 2004 ( Schriften des Gleimhauses, 3), pp. 61–70.
  • Doris Schumacher: A temple for friendship. Gleim's portrait collection in Halberstadt against the background of the history of monuments from the 18th and early 19th centuries. In: Rituals of Friendship. Edited by Klaus Manger and Ute Pott. Heidelberg 2006, pp. 247-262. ( Weimar-Jena event. Culture around 1800. Aesthetic research, 7.)
  • Reimar F. Lacher, Ute Pott (ed.): Temple of Friendship, School of Humanity, Museum of Enlightenment. 150 years of Gleimhaus. Halberstadt 2013.

Web links

Commons : Gleimhaus  - collection of images, videos and audio files