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Wende Museum To Open The World's Largest Cold War Visual Archive In Historic Armory Building In Culver City, California


CULVER CITY, Calif., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wende Museum's archive of 100,000 artifacts and artworks from the Cold War era—the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in the world—will open summer 2014 in a new permanent home at the former National Guard Armory building in Culver City, California.

The Wende's 75-year lease of the Culver City-owned Armory—a 1950 Cold War modernist structure—will be renovated in three phases, including a future addition of 20,000 square feet of storage and exhibition space on the one-acre property.

The Wende was founded in 2002 by cultural historian Justinian Jampol to preserve the material culture of Cold War Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union—particularly East Germany—that quickly disappeared with the toppling of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Museum's holdings are currently housed in three Southern California warehouses with public access limited to 1% of the collection. 

"The Wende collection is unparalleled," said Benedikt Taschen, the CEO and Founder of TASCHEN, who will publish an 800-page book on The Wende's East German collections in 2013.

The Wende Museum's collections and programs provide insight into the Cold War's socio-political realities and the personal histories of its populace. In addition to remnants of Checkpoint Charlie and the world's longest stretch of the original Berlin Wall in the United States, the collection includes paintings, photographs, posters, and films; experimental furniture and applied arts; decorative ceramics and sculptures; clothing, textiles, and tapestries; flags, banners and signs; books, scrapbooks, newspapers and magazines; and extensive East German and Soviet surveillance and communications equipment.

Highlights from the collection include a ten-foot bronze sculpture of Lenin by the preeminent Russian artist Pavel Bondarenko, a complete set of the East German newspaper Neues Deutschland, and the personal papers, notes, and the Moabit prison manuscript of Erich Honecker, the notorious leader of East Germany.

The Wende is a hybrid museum and educational institution with interdisciplinary resources for scholars, journalists, students, artists, and lifelong learners. The Museum's "Historical Witness Project" compiles oral histories from a cross section of inhabitants from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The Museum's internship program, sponsored in part by the Getty Trust, educates and trains students from regional and international universities. "Our new home at the Armory will make the collections accessible to the public and enhance the Wende's role as a center for cultural discovery," said Jampol.

The Armory Building is located at 10808 Culver Boulevard in Culver City's cultural corridor that includes Sony Pictures Studios and the City's downtown restaurant hub. The Wende's main warehouse is currently located in Culver City at 5741 Buckingham Parkway. A capital campaign is being developed to match a $5 million lead gift from London-based Arcadia Fund, a private UK foundation whose mission is to protect endangered treasures of culture and nature (Please see www.arcadiafund.org.uk). For more information, call 310-216-1600 or go to www.wendemuseum.org.

SOURCE The Wende Museum

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