The State of the Art Archives

An international symposium for archives documenting the history of modern and contemporary art

Numerous art archives have been established around the world over the past 25 years. They contain the holdings and estates of influential galleries and art dealers, curators, art critics, collectors and art photographers. In this function, they play an integral role in conserving a repertory of pieces which would not normally be collected by traditional art-historical archives and libraries. Consequently, these institutions are becoming increasingly important for art scholarship, art market research and exhibition practice. The three-day symposium “State of the Art Archives” at the Max Liebermann Haus in Berlin managed to bring leading international figures from this field together for the first time, examined the current state of the archives, and encouraged the exchange of knowledge. The event was targeted at those directly involved as well as interested art scholars, archivists, journalists and the general public. Representatives from various archives held brief presentations about themselves, the distinguishing features of their collections and the research opportunities they offer. In various workshops, participants had the opportunity to gain insights into traditional scientific archive-related activities, monographic case studies and quantitative art market research powered by big data. Audio and video recordings of the symposium will be made available via a multilingual online publication.

Artistic/research director: Günther Herzog, Zentralarchiv des internationalen Kunsthandels ZADIK
Cooperation partners: basis wien – Archive and Documentation Centre of Contemporary Art, Institute of Modern Art Nuremberg
Participating archives: The Finnish National Gallery Archive Collections (Helsinki, FI), Artpool Art Research Center/Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest, HU, The Museum of Modern Art Archives (New York, US), RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History (The Hague, NL, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, US), Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, US), Bibliotèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou (Paris, FR), Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia (Venice, IT), The Archive of Fine Arts (Praque, CZ), Archivo del Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (Barcelona, ES), Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong, CN), Garage Archive Collection (Moscow, RU),, as well as Sandra Klopper, University of Cape Town, (Cape Town, SA) on the situation of archives in Africa


  • 21 September, 2017 : International symposium

    Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin