Paul Strecker. Diaries 1917-1950

Paul Strecker (1898–1950) not only worked as a painter and set designer but also as a writer, critic and journalist. His bequest contained figurines and draft set designs as well as numerous typescripts of literary texts. The archive centres around eleven diaries dating from 1917 to 1950 containing more than 1,700 pages. Because Strecker lived in Paris from 1924 to 1944, his records provide unique information on the German-French art scene of the time. Strecker reflected on his own artistic development and gave detailed descriptions of exhibitions, trips and encounters with fellow artists in both countries.


born on 13 August 1898 in Mainz – died on 6 March 1950 in Berlin

1919–1922 studied first of all in Munich at a private art school, from 1920 at the Academy of Fine Arts, 1922–1924 in Berlin, participated in exhibitions at the Glaspalast, with gallerists Paul Cassirer and Alfred Flechtheim, 1923–1924 study trips to Italy, Paris and the South of France; September 1924 relocated to Paris, numerous trips around Europe, 1931 organisation of the Exposition de Peintres Allemands Contemporains (Exhibition of Contemporary German Painting) at Galerie Bonjean in Paris, November 1933 first solo exhibition at Galerie Bonjean; May 1938 first article about Paris in Neue Rundschau, March 1939 a planned exhibition at Galerie Buchholz in Berlin is not permitted by the censorship office; interned from September 1939 until June 1940 at various French camps, then returned to Paris; from October 1940 worked as a journalist for the Deutsche Zeitung in Frankreich published in Paris, which later became the Pariser Zeitung; August 1944 returned to Berlin, Germany; from 1946 stage equipment for numerous stagings at Berlin opera houses and theatres, professor for painting at the Academy of Fine Arts at Berlin, publications in newspapers and magazines, preparation of the publication Die Brücke von Avignon (published posthumously in 1950).

Archive and collection

The Paul Strecker Archive contains 1.5 running metres. It includes figurines and draft set designs, typescripts of literary texts, diaries (1917–1950) and personal photographs, work photos and reproductions, exhibition materials and a press collection. In the associated collection from Albert Buesche, there are letters from Strecker as well as essays and documentary material about the artist.

Only Diary 1 from the 1917/18 period has not been preserved in the original and is available in the form of an incomplete transcript.

History of the holdings

The Paul Strecker bequest was deposited in the Archives of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin by the Paul Strecker Foundation in 2006. In 2004, the Akademie had already acquired a collection on Strecker from the provenance of critic Albert Buesche (1896–1976).

With the joint intention of funding the publication of Paul Strecker’s diaries, a cooperation agreement was concluded in 2019 between the Paul Strecker Foundation, Mainz, the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. In the same year, the diaries were digitised at the service centre for digitisation and photo-documentation at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. With the permission of the Paul Strecker Foundation, the digital reproductions have been made available in the Archives Database of the Akademie der Künste and as an online publication on Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz website. A first transcript of the diaries, which are the basis for the publication, was prepared in 2008 at the Academy Archives.


Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Paul-Strecker-Archiv