As director of the archive, Gerhard Richter appointed Dietmar Elger, who had worked as secretary in his studio for many years. Nobody is as familiar with Richter’s modus operandi as Elger, and nobody else can immediately pinpoint the whereabouts of all his pictures. His value as a fount of all knowledge is not to be underestimated, because not all private collectors wish their ownership to be in the public domain. One of the main tasks of the archive is to act as an intermediary for exhibitions, bringing together lenders and curators, or suggesting alternatives when a work is not available. Kerstin Küster explains: “For example, it would have been a perfect match for Marlene Dumas’s current Skulls exhibition at the Albertinum if we could have displayed a painting from Richter’s own Schädel (Skulls) series.” The collaboration between the archive and the New Masters Gallery is close and facilitated by the shared premises. In this case, however, Richter’s Schädel are currently on display as part of The Life of Images exhibition in Brisbane, so the archive sourced the artist’s 48 Porträts for the Albertinum – an equally inspired companion series to Dumas’s watercolour portraits.
When Theresa Manzke visited the Richter archive as part of the research for her special study paper, she became captivated by Dresden. Now she is finishing her studies at the Dresden University of Technology. But even though her stay here may soon be coming to an end, she will always associate the name of Gerhard Richter with Dresden.