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Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Bildnis August des Starken von Louis de Silvestre (Detail), Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) are among the foremost museums of the world. A total of 14 museums offer a thematic diversity that is exceptional for its kind.

The museum originated in the collections of the Saxon electors, several of whom were also kings of Poland. Historical sources show that August I, Elector of Saxony, founded the electoral Kunstkammer (literally “art chamber”) in the Residenzschloss Dresden (Dresden Royal Palace) in 1560. August the Strong and his son, August III, King of Poland, were important patrons and remarkable connoisseurs. They developed their art collections in a systematic fashion; in the process, they not only provided a foundation of extraordinary masterpieces for the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, but also made these works accessible to select circles in their own time. To the present day, the organisers of the collections consider it their duty to preserve tradition while developing their visions and helping to shape the future.

The year 2010 marks 450 years of collecting in Dresden - an appropriate occasion for the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen to celebrate their tradition and future.

The Organisation
The association of museums Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) is directly subordinate to the Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst des Freistaats Sachsen (Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Arts) and has been operating as a state-owned enterprise since January 1, 2009.

The association is a product of its historical context and includes fourteen museums. Each of these operates independently within the context of its own collection, but all share various institutions and facilities as well as a central administration, service department, and the Director’s Office of the SKD. The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden are governed by an Executive Board. This board consists of the Director of the SKD, the Director of Finance, and up to three Deputy Directors appointed by the Director of the SKD. The Board of Trustees advises and oversees the work of the Executive Board.

The Board of Trustees consists of twelve members, who are appointed and dismissed by the Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. The board is made up of representatives from Saxony’s executive civil administration; individuals from the fields of culture, science, and commerce; and an employees’ representative. The Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst also appoints the members of the Scholarly Advisory Council to four-year terms. This body advises the SKD regarding fundamental scholarly issues.