Some texts are currently available in German only. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) is one of the oldest institutions of its kind. It was founded in 1867 as part of the "Deutsches Gewerbemuseum", now the Museum of Decorative Arts. The original collection was intended to offer "models and examples" to promote "the improvement of the trades in both scientific and artistic terms".
In 1894 the Art Library gained its independence within the context of the Royal Museums. The acquisition of numerous important collections formed the basis of the library's present structure. These collections include the library of works on costumes donated by the Berlin publisher, Franz von Lipperheide, and the library of the architect, Hans Grisebach, which was purchased and is now part of the book design collection. In 1924 the library was finally renamed the "State Art Library".
In 1994 the Art Library moved from its old premises and reopened in the newly built Kulturforum where it now shares a common context with the other museums of European art.