About Us

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The Wende is an art museum, historical archive of the Cold War, and center for creative community engagement that explores and inspires change. 

The Wende reaches beyond the conventional walls of a museum and places equal value on international scholarship, community engagement, digital access, and wide-ranging experimentation. 

Wende is a German word meaning “turning point” or “change” that has come to describe the transformative period around the fall of the Berlin Wall. Founded in 2002, the Wende Museum holds an unparalleled collection of art and artifacts from the Cold War era, which serves as a foundation for programs that illuminate political and cultural changes of the past, offer opportunities to make sense of a  changing present, and inspire active participation in personal and social change for a better future. 

The Wende fulfills its mission of exploring and inspiring change through 

collecting, preserving, and providing open access to artwork, artifacts, archives, films, and personal histories from the sphere touched by socialism during the Cold War era (1945– 1991); 

promoting rigorous scholarship, educating students, and stimulating general interest through lectures, symposia, publications, and providing access to digitized collections; 

presenting experimental exhibitions and interdisciplinary programming inspired by the collection; 

facilitating creative collaborations with contemporary artists and designers; 

partnering with other nonprofit organizations; and 

providing community services such as wellness programs, opportunities for civic engagement, and family-friendly activities.