The Academy of Arts, Berlin (GermanAkademie der Künste, Berlin) is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1696 by ElectorFrederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution in which members could meet and discuss and share ideas. As early as 1699, the Academy of Arts served as the arts council of the Prussian government, and since 1931 it has been exclusively tasked with such a function in the successor states. The academic arm ultimately developed into the Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste Berlin) of today. The task of the Academy is to promote art, as well as to advise and support the states of Germany.
The Academy of Arts of Berlin was set up in 1696 by crown-prince Frederick III of Brandenburg, later king Frederick I of Prussia as an "Academy of Painterly, Sculptural and Architectural Art", providing a model of the learned society for the "Prussian Royal Academy of Art and Mechanical Sciences" (1704–1790) and the "Royal Academy of Berlin for Fine Arts and Mechanical Sciences" (1790–1809). Later renamed the Academy of Arts, Frederick's first academy later became the "Royal Prussian Academy of Arts" (1809–1882), the "Royal Academy of Arts" (1882) and finally the "Prussian Academy of Arts" (1926–1945). In its current form it was set up on 1 October 1993 by merging the "German Academy of Arts in [East] Berlin (set up in 1950 and renamed the "Academy of Arts of the German Democratic Republic" in 1972 then the "Berlin Academy of Arts" from 1990 to 1993) and the "German Academy of Arts in [West] Berlin" (founded in 1954).
The Academy is an incorporated body of the public right under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. New members are nominated by secret ballot of the general assembly, and appointed by the president with membership never to exceed 500. The academy‘s current president is Klaus Staeck, who succeeded Adolf Muschg in 2006.