Home  Museums A-Z  Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte. Central Institute for Art History

Exterior View of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

The ZI offers one of the most extensive libraries in the field of art histors worldwide.

The photograph collection can be consulted with free shelf access. (Photo: Christoph Hellhake)

The ZI edits publications on a great variety of art-historical topics every year.


Katharina-von-Bora-Str. 10 (ehem. Meiserstr. 10)
80333 München

089/289 27-556

Gallery Hours

Sonderausstellungen und Bibliothek: Mo.-Fr. 9.00 - 20.00 Photothek: Mo.-Fr. 9.00 - 17.00

The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI) is the only independent art historical research institute in Germany. The library holds over 560,000 volumes, and the photography library stores over 900,000 photos. These resources join other media items to offer a unique opportunity for investigations into art history. These varied holdings and services provided by the ZI are available on-site and online which makes it quite important for the international research community. The rich program of lectures and academic conferences on various topics underscore the reputation of the ZI as an internationally-oriented scientific forum.  The location in Munich's Kunstareal with a neighborhood loaded with museums and higher education facilities make the ZI a privileged site for art history research and the promotion of academic sciences. The origin of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte lies in the "Central Art Collecting Point" of the American occupying government in 1946.

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte
World Histories of Architecture. Origins, Narratives and Images 1700-2016
15.12.2016 - 28.02.2017

During the period from 1700 to 2015, from Fischer von Erlach's "Entwurf einer historischen Architektur" of 1721 until the destruction of Palmyra, the city of ruins, by the IS, numerous different forms of writing the history of global architectures have been published. Although global architectural history is currently very popular, a critical survey of these elaborately illustrated world histories – primarily single-volume works – has not yet taken place. Fifteen such world histories were published in the 19th century alone in German, not to mention the works in French and English. Beyond these, the world history of architecture was also represented as a chart or diagram, and even in paintings and watercolors. From the comparative histories of religion and culture of the Enlightenment to the national and imperial narratives of the 19th century, from the racist and völkisch models of interpretation up to decolonization and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage – concepts about architecture, nature, and origins always play a prominent role.

07.12.16 18:15
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Matteo Burioni: Und laß mir ein jeden Ort für mein Vaterland gefallen. Das reisende Museum der Weltkulturen von Pietro della Valle (1586-1652) in Konstantinopel, Isfahan, Goa und Rom.

Der römische Patrizier Pietro della Valle (1586-1652) bereiste von 1616-1624 das Osmanische Reich, Persien und Indien, brachte dabei eine beträchtliche Sammlung zusammen, die nach seiner Rückkehr nach Rom in seinem Palazzo zeigte.

Veranstaltungstyp: Vortrag


Sprache: deutsch

14.12.16 14:00
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

1700-2016 / World Histories of Architecture. Narratives, Origins, Images

Histories of architecture covering the whole world were (and are still being) published from the beginning of the eighteenth century until today. Paradigms, approaches and theories changed dramatically during this period. From the comparative histories of religion and culture of the Enlightenment to the national and imperial narratives of the nineteenth century, from the racist and völkisch models of interpretation up to decolonization and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage – concepts about architecture, nature, and origins always play a prominent role. The workshop will discuss authors and theories on the day of the opening of the exhibition "Weltgeschichten der Architektur. Ursprünge, Narrative, Bilder 1700‒2016".

Veranstaltungstyp: Workshop

In english and german.

Sprache: englisch

14.12.16 18:15
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Gauvin Alexander Bailey: Architecture in the French Atlantic World, 1608-1828: Utopianism and Intransigence in a Paper Empire

Although the architecture of Spanish and Portuguese America today comprises one of the most flourishing subjects in the art-historical discipline the same cannot be said for that of the French Atlantic Empire, which astonishingly—except for regional scholarship on Quebec and a handful of studies of buildings in Louisiana—does not exist as a field. This talk will provide a brief overview of the architectural heritage of the French Atlantic Empire (including the rich collection of plans and drawings in the archives in Aix-en-Provence and elsewhere) and will contextualize French America within the history of Latin American architecture, examining how differing ideologies and utopianisms among the French and Iberian empires led to strikingly contrasting architectural cultures despite shared histories of conquest, settlement, conversion, and forced labour. This paper will encompass North America, the French Antilles, French Guyana, and also Senegal. This paper will consider French Atlantic architecture as a product of a uniquely French ideology of cultural uniformity, an intellectual construct of preordained, centralized, and circumscribed national territory developed under Louis XIV (1661-1715) and known as the pré carré. It resulted in a stubborn vision of unity in the face of geographical or demographic diversity, and in a reluctance to engage culturally with non-Europeans, including indigenous peoples and the rapidly growing populations of slaves and gens de couleur. Settlements such as Quebec were intentionally founded outside Native American territory and—in striking contrast to the Spanish practice of using Amerindian labour—even missionaries brought lay French architects and builders (donnés) with them. The architecture of the French Atlantic Empire was profoundly different from the awkward but functional balance of utopianism and pragmatism that allowed acculturative, hybrid architectural styles to flourish in Spanish America.

Veranstaltungstyp: Vortrag


Sprache: englisch

11.01.17 18:15
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Cécile Fromont: Envisioning Cross-Cultural Knowledge in Capuchin Images of Kongo and Angola

In this talk, Cécile Fromont considers the images Franciscan Capuchin friars created and used as part of their missionary activities in Kongo and Angola between 1650 and 1750. Placing the prints and watercolors within their artistic, scientific, and religious context, she discusses their status as medium of cross-cultural knowledge creation and communication. They were, she argues, not mere documents about Africa experienced by Europeans but also vivid traces of central African men's and women's contribution to the cross-cultural dialogues that led to their very creation.

Veranstaltungstyp: Vortrag


Sprache: englisch

26.01.17 14:00
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

T. Golan: Vision and Inquiry in Hans Fries’ Four Panel Paintings of Sts. Francis, Sebastian, Bernhard, and Anne at the Alte Pinakothek (1501)

In this workshop, I will explore the ascendancy of the judicial inquisitio as the most effective means of establishing truth in the late Middle Ages and the dissemination of this mode of inquiry in the artisanal sphere. Particular attention will be paid to how concerns over the authenticity of miraculous and visionary experiences merged with the rhetoric of the inquisitio during the Councils of Constance (1414-1418) and Basel (1431-1445). The introduction of the inquisitional procedure in this context recalibrated an already existing discourse on the nature of visions and other miracles, resulting in the tendency to place both under greater suspicion. In light of the growing distrust of vision and miracles, I contend that artists consciously experimented with innovative strategies of representation that embraced, navigated, and adapted to concurrent concerns of how to prove the miraculous. This paper will therefore examine a set of four panel paintings (1501) by the Swiss artist Hans Fries in the Alte Pinakothek. I will analyze the representation of visionary experiences in these four panels, focusing in particular on the panel of St. Sebastian, in order to assess the particular visual strategies used by Fries that imbued his images with an evidentiary status, one which met the standards of proof demanded by the judicial sphere. As I hope to demonstrate, Fries was highly attuned to the kind of evidence required when claims for what is shown were couched in the rhetoric of visionary experience.

Veranstaltungstyp: Workshop


Sprache: deutsch

Angebote des Museumspädagogischen Zentrums (MPZ)
Familien- und Ferienaktionen, Geburtstage für Kinder und Jugendliche im Museum, Veröffentlichungen, Programme für Klassen aller Schularten und Jahrgangsstufen und Kindertagesstätten, Fortbildungen

Calendar of events

< December - 2016 >
Mo Di Mi Do Fr Sa So
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31