Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Daniel Libeskind papers
Collection number: 920061
Libeskind, Daniel, 1946-
ca. 60 lin. ft.
(52 boxes, 168 rolls, 27 oversize folders, 12 models, 1 folio)
Getty Research Institute
Special Collections and Visual Resources
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Abstract: The Libeskind archive contains 15 design projects (1970-1991), materials related to Libeskind's teaching at the Cranbrook
Academy of Art (1980-1984), manuscripts and publications (1970-1990) and photographs, slides and transparencies (ca. 1968-1990).
The Jewish Museum in Berlin (also called Between the Lines in this archive) is the most extensively documented of his designs.
Language: Collection material in English and German
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Daniel Libeskind papers, 1968-1992, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 920061.
Acquired from Daniel Libeskind in June 1992.
The following books were transferred to the repository's research library, general collection.
Chamberworks: Architectural Meditations on Themes from Heraclitus.
Between Zero and Infinity: Selected Projects in Architecture,
The architect Daniel Libeskind was born in Lodz, Poland in 1946 and emigrated with his family to Israel. He studied music
at the Lodz Conservatory. In 1960, after winning the America - Israel Cultural Foundation Fellowship, he moved to New York
to continue his studies in music. While in the United States, however, he changed direction and enrolled in architecture at
Cooper Union, studying with John Hejduk and Peter Eisenman. In 1970 he was graduated summa cum laude with a B. Arch. degree.
He subsequently earned his Master's degree in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Comparative Studies at Essex
University, England, in 1972 with his thesis
Imagination and Space.
In the late 1980s Libeskind founded the studio Architecture Intermundium, Milan, Italy (Founder and Director, 1986-1989),
in order to challenge the trend toward what he viewed as the corruption and commodification of architecture. Libeskind's projects
reflect his readings in philosophy, his study of music, and, in his best known project, his connection to the Jewish diaspora
and the Holocaust.
Libeskind's design for the Jewish Museum Extension to the Berlin Museum (Jüdisches Museum im Berlin Museum), triggered international
controversy and earned Libeskind considerable acclaim from architects and architectural critics worldwide. After winning the
competition in 1989, it took ten years to build the Jewish Museum Extension (which he titled
Between the Lines). The project successfully endured opposition from Mayor Eberhard Diepgen and many of the citizens of Berlin, and weathered
the fall of the Berlin Wall. Libeskind and his wife, Nina, launched a letter writing campaign that lobbied members of the
Berlin Senate and the Mayor himself. The cornerstone for the Jewish Museum Extension finally was laid on 9 November 1992 and
the building completed in January 1999.
Since the Jewish Museum Extension competition, Libeskind has won numerous international architectural awards and competitions
as well as commissions for other museums. In 1988 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, included Libeskind (along with architects
Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Schumi, and the team Coop Himmelblau) in the exhibition "Deconstructivist
Architecture" curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley.
Libeskind has taught and lectured in Australia, Europe, Japan, South America, and United States. The bulk of the teaching
materials in this collection is related to his tenure as Head of the Department of Architecture at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
His academic appointments also include Visiting Professor at Harvard University, the Louis Sullivan Professorship at the University
of Illinois at Chicago, the Bannister Fletcher Professorship at the University of London, the Davenport Chair at Yale University,
and the Lee Chair at University of California, Los Angeles.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Daniel Libeskind papers, 1968-1992 (ca. 60 lin. ft. in 52 boxes, 168 rolls, 27 oversize folders, 12 models, 1 folio) are
comprised primarily of materials - drawings, notebooks, sketches, models, correspondence, press clippings, videotapes, transparencies
- documenting the Jewish Museum Extension to the Berlin Museum, 1988-1992, which in this archive is titled
Between the Lines.
The collection also contains 14 other design projects (1970-1991), materials related to his teaching at the Cranbrook Academy
of Art (1980-1984), some manuscripts and publications (1970-1990), and photographs, slides and transparencies (ca. 1968-1990).
The significance of this collection lies in the inclusion of representative pieces from Libeskind's earlier projects as well
as the nearly exhaustive documentation of
Between the Lines, the Jewish Museum Extension, up to 1992. Not only are original architectural drawings, sketches, notebooks, and models included,
but the collection holds the many revisions and alterations made from those original drawings; what appear to be merely photocopies
of original drawings often have subtle modifications indicated on them. One can see the manner in which Libeskind draws from
his earlier works for inspiration. The design materials are further informed by the flurry of correspondence which documents
the delays and crises that threatened to halt the construction of the museum in the early 1990s.
City Edge and
Marking the City Boundaries projects are fairly well documented, many of his earlier projects are represented with only a few items. The archive contains
several boxes and binders of images of Libeskind's Cranbrook students' designs.
Other items in the archive include copies of his Cooper Union Thesis,
Collage, 1970; the set of Venice Biennale competition books, 1985; Gedenkbuch Berlin 6 000 000, a Berlin Museum commemorative book;
a musical score (roll 18**); and a videotape (box 52, f.2) featuring architectural critic Charles Jencks, mayor of Berlin
Eberhard Diepgen, and Berlin Museum Director Rolf Bothe.
This collection does not include work after
Between the Lines, 1992.
The papers are arranged chronologically by project date. Items within each project have been further organized by date.
The papers are organized in 6 series:
Series 1. Design projects: drawings, notebooks and models, 1979-1992
Series 2. Lectures, manuscripts, publications and student work, 1970-1990
Series 3. Correspondence, 1983, 1988-1992
Series 4. Press clippings, 1990-1992
Series 5. Transparencies, ca. 1968-1990
Series 6. Videotapes, 1980-1991
Architecture, Modern—20th century
Libeskind, Daniel, 1946-
Berlin (Germany)—Buildings, structures, etc.
Jüdisches Museum im Berlin Museum
Genres and Forms of Material
Architectural models (representations)
The following materials were consulted while cataloging this archive:
Betsky, Aaron. "Libeskind Builds - Once the dean of paper architecture, Daniel Libeskind has completed his first buildings.
Do they live up to the power of his provocative thinking?"
Architecture : the AIA journal, September 1998, p. 103+.
A Passage Through Silence and Light: Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum Extension to the Berlin Museum. Introduction by Raoul Bunschoten. London: Black Dog Publishing Ltd., 1997.
Derrida, Jacques. "Response to Daniel Libeskind."
Research in Phenomenology, vol. 22, 1992.
Levene, Richard and Márquez Cabanes, Fernando.
"Daniel Libeskind, 1987-1996."
El Croquis, vol 80, 1996.
Libeskind, Daniel. "Berlin Museum with the Jewish Museum."
Kenchiku bunka volume 53, no. 621, July 1998, p. 58-83.
Between Zero and Infinity: Selected Projects in Architecture. New York: Rizzoli Intl. Pub., 1981.
Chamberworks: Architectural Meditations on Themes from Heraclitus. London: Architectural Association, 1983.
City Without Plan: Architecture Descends into the Hexagonal Garden. Lisboa: Editorial Blau, 1992.
Countersign. New York: Rizzoli International Pub., 1992.
End Space: An Exhibition at the Architectural Association. London: Architectural Association, 1980.
Erweiterung des Berlin Museums mit Abteilung Jüdisches Museum; Extension to the Berlin Museum with Jewish Museum Department. Berlin: Ernst & Sohn, 1992.
Line of Fire. Genève: Centre d'art contemporain, 1988.
Micromegas. Helsinki: Museum of Finnish Architecture, 1980.
Radix-Matrix: Architekturen und Schriften.Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1997.
Symbol and Interpretation.