Compiled by German art historian Lothar Lang, the collection represents the work and activity of over 700 artists and institutions
in East Germany in the latter half of the 20th century. The bulk of the collection is composed of artists' and institutions'
files containing exhibition announcements, leaflets, photographs, offprints, negatives, press and book clippings, and correspondence.
The artists' and institutions' files also include six posters for the political cabaret Distel in East Berlin, eleven oversize
color reproductions of paintings, one oversize black-and white reproduction of a woodcut, and one oversize black-and-white
reproduction of an illustration. The collection also contains eight LP records and a clay plaque commemorating the 75th anniversary
of the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle.
Lothar Lang (1928 March 20 - 2013 July 20) was a prominent East German art historian, art critic, and writer who specialized
in East German art and in book arts. Born in Saxony, Lang grew up in Thuringia. In the fall of 1944, he was conscripted into
the Hitler Youth and from there into military service, but deserted in May 1945, an action that he describes in his autobiography
Ein Leben für die Kunst (2009) as stemming from "youthful foolishness" rather than from courage. After World War II, Lang joined the Communist Party
and studied art history, philosophy, sociology, and history under the auspices of the Landesamt für Volksbildung in a coordinated
program at the Brandenburg Landeshochschule in Potsdam and the Pädagogisches Zentralinstitut in Berlin. In 1955, he became
the Senior Assistant at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Potsdam, and began teaching Aesthetics at the Institut für Lehrerweiterbildung/Musikerziehung
in Berlin-Weißensee, a division of the Pädagogische Hochschule, in 1957. There, he founded an art gallery, the Kunstkabinett,
in 1962, in order to provide a forum for students and young artists. This gallery, one of the few new venues for art in the
young German Democratic Republic, went on to host over 300 exhibitions, readings, and performances before the Ministerium
für Volksbildung ordered it closed and Lang fired in 1968. In 1957, Lang also began his career as an art critic with the journal
Die Weltbühne, a post he held until 1991; from 1964 to 1998, he edited the periodical
Marginalien, published by the Pirckheimer Society for Bibliophilia and Book Arts. In 1965, Lang founded the Kabinettpresse Berlin, which
printed twenty graphics collections from the date of its founding through 1974, and from 1980 to 1989, he served as museum
director at the Staatliches Museum Schloß Burgk (Thuringia). From 1975 to 1991, together with Hans Marquardt, Lang edited
thirty-three editions of original graphic works for the Reclam Publishing Company. Lang compiled this collection while undertaking
these activities. In addition to his autobiography, Lang published several titles on art of the German Democratic Republic,
as well as works on book arts such as
Expressionistische Buchkunst in Deutschland (1975) and
Konstruktivismus and Buchkunst (1990).