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Research projects of the Kunstbibliothek

With its book collections, museum collections, study and reading rooms, the Kunstbibliothek offers ideal working conditions for students and researchers from all over the world to expand their knowledge. Eleven scholars – each experts in the respective fields of art history, media studies, and library science – make up the Kunstbibliothek’s core team of staff.

They work together with curators and scholars on project-based, short to medium-term contracts, as well as with scholarship recipients on the project Connecting Art Histories in the Museum: The Mediterranean and Asia, which is a joint venture between the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. The team at the Kunstbibliothek are supported in their work by scholarship holders from the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage), museum administrative officers, and roughly ten international young scholars.

Particular emphasis is placed on the sharing and broad dissemination of art-historical research conducted at the various museums that make up the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, through ongoing collaborations with universities and internationally renowned external research institutes. The Kunstbibliothek works with the major Berlin universities, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the library of the University of Heidelberg, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. The Kunstbibliothek’s many projects are variously funded by the Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Ministry of Education and Research, the DFG, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, and the VolkswagenStiftung.

Many academic projects culminate in exhibitions, which reveal and convey the stimulating side of research in art history to the general public. Colleges, universities, and academies have long since realized that the KB is an attractive partner for training programmes, workshops, and symposia. The Museum for Fotografie (which is itself a department of the Kunstbibliothek) has, for instance, entered into a partnership with Berlin’s Universität der Künste (UdK) to create a platform for young photographers and curators to show their work in the museum. And in a separate project held each year, the class from a selected design college is assigned the task of creating the exhibition design and graphics for the '100 Best Posters' show, on display in the foyer of Kulturforum’s main building. The Kunstbibliothek is thus a place where the points of merger between the arts and sciences are not only highlighted in exhibitions, but can actually be studied and tested out in practice.