The Academy is an international community of artists which appoints its members in recognition of their work in the fields of visual arts, architecture, music, literature, performing arts as well as in film and media arts. It currently has some 390 members, more than a third of whom live outside Germany. The President, the Vice-President and the directors of the sections exercise their functions in an honorary capacity.
With 800 individual collections, a special library of 540,000 volumes and an art collection of 60,000 objects, the Academy Archives represent the most important interdisciplinary archives for 20th-century art in the German-speaking world.
The Academy is the custodian of the private archives of Walter Benjamin, Elisabeth Bergner, Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Busch, Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler, Günter Grass, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Walter Jens, Alfred Kerr, Käthe Kollwitz, Fritz Kortner, Heinrich Mann, Heiner Müller, Gret Palucca, Erwin Piscator, Hans Werner Richter, Hans Scharoun, Anna Seghers, George Tabori, Peter Weiss, Mary Wigman, Christa Wolf, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Arnold Zweig, and many others.
The Academy’s work is addressed to the general public. It is devoted to disseminating new artistic tendencies and preserving cultural traditions. It organizes art and documentation exhibitions, workshops, concerts, lectures, literary readings and film screenings as well as theatre and dance performances.