This volume marks the first publication of Heinrich Klotz’s audio recordings. In these journal-like records—The Klotz Tapes—the art historian chronicles the eventful early years of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum [German Architecture Museum, or DAM] in Frankfurt, the museum where Klotz served as founding director and which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this summer. In addition to offering a bird’s-eye view of the overall context in which he worked, Klotz’s deeply personal perspective and his trenchant depictions of the major events and architectural figures of the late 1970s and early 1980s serve to illuminate, in singular fashion—behind the scenes, as it were—the evolving postmodern movement.
As a facilitator of debate, a tireless fighter for a unified international architectural discourse, and a fearless institutional agent, Klotz had a lasting impact on German architecture, whose effects reverberate well outside the boundaries of the postmodern era. The Klotz Tapes bear witness to this, down to the last detail.
Anke te Heesen
I felt like Vasari
When Klotz said, “I felt like Vasari,” he was not referring to Vasari’s writings, but to the artist and early art historian as he appeared as author of the Vite. He could just as well have said, “I felt like Vasari, and did it like Warhol.”
Images in Contradiction
In his own publications, however, Klotz drew almost exclusively from his private archive of images, contradicting not only conventions surrounding the use of images, but those of his own profession as well. Paired with his polemical texts, Klotz’s photographs are indispensable arguments—often more persuasive than the words themselves.
Architectural Postmodernism and Its Midwives
While there, he also acquired material for the collection of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, which he had already begun to assemble. Jencks’ and Portoghesi’s take on postmodernism, on display at the Biennale, served as an important reference point for Klotz as he pursued his ambitious project in Frankfurt.
Through the Labyrinth to the “House Within The House”
Among the architects for whom he advocated, Klotz ultimately saw Ungers as the one whom it was most worthwhile to fight for—and with. The Architekturmuseum is a testament to what their productive engagement could create.
Heinrich Klotz, the Price Explosion, and the Star System
In September 1981, Robert Venturi canceled the sale of a collection of drawings “at the last minute.” 33 Months later, in 1982, the show Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown opened at Max Protetch’s gallery. Klotz could no longer afford the works.
Heinrich Klotz and Postmodernism
His place is assured: for being the impresario of postmodernism, for putting the best PM collection together and for creating the DAM.
The Klotz Tapes
In his journal-like audio recordings—The Klotz Tapes—the art historian and DAM director Heinrich Klotz chronicles the eventful early years of the institution he founded.
File Report, 8 / 6 / 1979. Thus begin The Klotz Tapes, published for the first time in this issue of ARCH+.