Interdisciplinary scholarly systematization and analysis of art collections

The Kunstbibliothek is involved in a project held as part of the 'Image Knowledge Design' Cluster of Excellence at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin that seeks to categorize and analyze various art collections. The focus of the endeavour is the collection of paintings in the Lipperheide Costume Library: roughly 700 pictures relating to the history of fashion and costume from the period 1450 to 1900, held at the Kunstbibliothek since 1899. Despite their immense cultural-historical significance, insufficient research has been conducted into the pictures until now.

The project’s goal is the exemplary, interdisciplinary analysis of a representative cross-section of the collection by various scholars from different disciplines. The disciplines involved in the project include: conservation science, material science, art history, history of fashion, computer science, and interaction design. The experimental nature of the collaboration between these disciplines should give rise to innovative methods that can subsequently be applied to the analysis of other collections.

The epistemological interest also depends on the intellectual and technical conditions and processes that prevail in such a cooperation. The project thus also explores the manner in which this kind of joint analysis alters the assessment and public perception of a collection, and how a heightened understanding of the objects and materials can lead to the development of appropriate conservation treatments and strategies, which in turn contribute to a better understanding of the objects themselves.

Scholarly team: Dr. Matthias Bruhn, HU; Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Coy, HU; Dipl.-Rest. Sonja Krug, BAM; Dr. Oliver Hahn, BAM; Dr. Adelheid Rasche, curatorial research associate, Kunstbibliothek; Prof. Dr. Moritz Wullen, director, Kunstbibliothek; Prof. Carola Zwick, KH
Partners: Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (KH)
Funded by: DFG
Duration: 2013 to 2015