Winckelmann Society

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Winckelmann Society is a registered association . It is named after Johann Joachim Winckelmann , one of the founders of modern art archeology , and is located in Stendal , his birthplace .


Johann Joachim Winckelmann, namesake and research subject of the society

The association was founded in 1940 after the Stendal collector and ophthalmologist Dr. Heinrich Segelken had died. The city of Stendal then acquired his collection of “Winckelmanniana”, such as first editions of his writings, letters and other archive material. In order to manage, evaluate and also expand the collection exhibited in Stendal since 1939, a carrier was now sought. Since the Winckelmann reception reached its peak at this time and Winckelmann was seen as an important protagonist of German classical music , not only did the association develop quickly, but after a year of existence it already had 1,100 members; In 1944 there were 1126 members. The founding members included Gerhart Rodenwaldt , Karl Anton Neugebauer , Martin Schede , Georg Lippold , Wilhelm Kraiker , Friedrich Matz , Erich Pernice , Wolfgang Schadewaldt , Bernhard Schweitzer , Carl Weickert , Wilhelm Waetzoldt and Walther Rehm . Karl Wernecke , the Lord Mayor of Stendal, who was also a driving force behind the founding of the association, became the first chairman . One could largely keep free from the influence of National Socialism .

In 1947, at the instigation of Rudolph Grosse , who was also managing director from 1947 until his death in 1949, and Carl Weickert, the company was re-established. The chairman was the Winckelmann researcher Arthur Schulz , under whose chair the contacts, especially to Italy and France, were re-established. In 1955 the Winckelmann Museum was founded at the instigation of Gerhard Richter - director of the Altmark Museum. The Winckelmann Medal has been awarded by the city since 1960 . The board of trustees of the Winckelmann Society makes suggestions. Since 1984 the "Wilhelm Höpfner Prize" has been awarded to young up-and-coming artists who refer to antiquity in their work. At first there was only the annual general meeting, but since 1972 thematic colloquia have also been held every year . The Winckelmann Society managed to remain largely independent of the GDR state and to maintain the international character of the society. Since 1990, the society has increasingly organized colloquia with international participation in Germany, such as in Stendal, Blankensee, Halle, Potsdam, Jena, Heidelberg or Berlin, or has held international conferences and the like a. in Paris, Oxford, Pompeii / Naples, Vienna, Istanbul and most recently in Madrid in October 2011. In addition, it enables interested parties to take part in excursions, the latter often also made possible by the excavations that it carries out in Turkey and the resulting scientific contacts at home and abroad. The international relations of the society and its museum were also reflected in exhibition projects in which the society u. a. collaborated with museums and collections in Rome and Naples, San Francisco, Jerusalem, Paris, Copenhagen and Vienna. The exhibitions in the Winckelmann Museum in particular often served to make one's own scientific results transparent and to make them understandable to a broad interested public through a clear presentation.

The Winckelmann Museum in Stendal

Since its foundation, the Winckelmann Society has endeavored to advance research on Winckelmann. This was accompanied by the systematic development of a special library on Winckelmann and the history of classical archeology, especially of the 18th century, which is now open to Winckelmann researchers from all over the world as a reference library. In the course of this, all relevant literature was researched from the start and a detailed Winckelmann bibliography was presented in the second annual edition of the Winckelmann Society in 1942. In 1967/1968 three episodes of the bibliography appeared, a fourth in 1988. Today it is continued digitally and is available on the Internet. The fully digitized handwritten legacy is also available in the research library. The company is involved in several research projects. As early as 1988, with the help of the Volkswagen Foundation and its partner Freie Universität Berlin, a German-German science project was started with the historical-critical edition of Winckelmann's main work on the “History of Ancient Art” . After the fall of the Wall , the project of a historical-critical complete edition of Winckelmann developed from this, which was financed by the state government of Saxony-Anhalt and the German Research Foundation. Since 1996 the project has been taken over by the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz , which is now publishing the Winckelmann edition together with the Winckelmann Society. There is also a job in the Winckelmann house in Stendal. In 1997 the Stendal working group on the theory and history of art historiography was founded. The Winckelmann Museum has been sponsored by the association since 2000. In 2003, an "image database on ancient sculptures that Winckelmann knew" was published on three CDs. This database is available on the Internet at and is currently being transferred to one level in cooperation with the census project of the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Berlin Brandenburg Academy. The Winckelmann Society is involved with a special part in a digitization project of older archaeological literature in which the German Archaeological Institute Rome, the Heidelberg University Library and the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne (Arachne Project) participate. Using the example of the catalog of Stosch's gems that Winckelmann published, the digitized literature is linked with archaeological objects as a model.

Today, the Winckelmann Society with the Winckelmann Museum, in which many special exhibitions are presented, is an important cultural factor in Saxony-Anhalt and one of the intersections between archaeological, art-historical and literary research as well as the visual arts in Germany. The society is a member of the working group of independent cultural institutes . Max Kunze has been president since 1990 , the deputy presidents are Adolf Borbein , Ralf-Torsten Speler and Rainer Vollkommer , the treasurer is Christoph Helm , the executive board member is Stephanie-Gerrit Bruer . Other members of the board of trustees are Jürgen Dummer , Hans-Volker Feldmann, Thomas Fröhlich, Markus Käfer, Martin Keller-Jaccard, Monika Knofler, Arnold Nesselrath , Ingo Pfeifer, Wolfgang Richter , Volker Riedel , Detlef Rößler , Axel Rügler, Franz Rutzen and Wolfgang von Wangenheim, ex officio the Lord Mayor of the city of Stendal, Klaus Schmotz , and the chairman of the museum board of Stendal, Manfred Urban. The society currently has almost 600 members.

A conflict between President Max Kunze and critics of an exhibition led by Stefan Lehmann made the headlines . Lehmann accused Kunze of exhibiting a fake bust of Alexander the Great from the property of the notorious antiquities dealer Robin Symes as an original and thus being jointly responsible as the sole responsible director of the Winckelmann Society, that it was thus 'ennobled' for the global art market. The nature of the allegations raised in this connection led to Lehmann's exclusion from the Winckelmann Society at the end of 2009. As a result of the subsequent legal dispute, Lehmann issued a public, written declaration of honor in 2012 in which he described the defamatory attacks against Kunze and the Winckelmann Society regretted.

Chairman and President
executive Director

Purpose of society

According to the statutes (§2), the company has the following tasks:

The Winckelmann Society is an international association and pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes. Society sees its tasks in

  1. to support international research on the life, work and work of Johann Joachim Winckelmann,
  2. to bring together the disciplines related to Winckelmann's work such as classical studies, art history and German studies to develop the history of science of the 18th century,
  3. to promote and popularize the cultivation of Winckelmann's legacy inside and outside his hometown.


Since 1941 the "Mitteilungen der Winckelmann-Gesellschaft" have been published, which report on the company's actions. The writings of the Winckelmann Society have been published since 1973, contributions by the Winckelmann Society since 1974, from the collections of the Winckelmann Society in Stendal sporadically since 1989, commercial jobs. Flyers of the Winckelmann Society since 1991 and the Stendaler Winckelmann Research since 2003. Exhibition catalogs are also published.

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ AsKI eV: Winckelmann Society eV with Winckelmann Museum
  2. ^ Federal Cultural Foundation: Winckelmann Society eV
  3. How real is the Alexander bust?
  4. Heroes Put to the Test
  5. Christoph Schmälzle: Who knows the real antiquities? Don't shoot the critic: Dispute in Stendal's Winckelmann Society , In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Saturday, December 4, 2010, No. 283, p. 35.
  6. Christoph Schmälzle: The Battle of Alexander. The dispute in the Winckelmann Society comes to a head , In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Tuesday, December 7, 2010, No. 285, p. 31.
  7. Patrick Bahners: The king has a heavy spike , In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Monday, May 30, 2011, No. 125, p. 27.
  8. ^ Matthias Schulz: Dizziness at the melting furnace . In: Der Spiegel 47/2011 of November 21, 2011, pp. 160–163.
  9. Patrik Bahners: Cursed hunger for bronzes . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Friday, December 2, 2011, No. 281, p. 31.
  10. ^ Professors' dispute : Lehmann rows back ,, February 20, 2012 (accessed December 31, 2017).
  11. ^ Articles of Association of the Society