Institutions & Associations
Museums & Kunsthallen
In Germany there are around 6,300 museums devoted to many different fields (including cultural history, the natural sciences, and technology). About 660 of these are pure art museums, making up in all around 10 percent of museums in Germany.
A Kunsthalle or a Kunsthaus is a non-commercial institution and is devoted to presenting national and international contemporary art. Usually a Kunsthalle holds no collection of its own. Most Kunsthallen are publicly financed or operated by foundations.
The following pages provide a comprehensive overview of museums, Kunsthallen, and exhibitions in German-speaking Europe:
The internet project Art Aspects (Kunstaspekte) provides an information network for the fine arts. You can search by city name and receive information on exhibitions in museums and Kunsthallen, art associations, institutions, project spaces, and galleries.
Museum and exhibition portal of the Webmuseen Verlag
The museum and exhibition portal of the Webmuseen Verlag publishers is divided into regions, topics, and special exhibitions.
Virtual Library Museum Deutschland
The Virtual Library Museum Deutschland (of ICOM) presents art museums in Germany, divided into locations.
German Museums Association
The German Museums Association (Deutscher Museumsbund) provides an overview of museums listed by federal state.
There are around 300 art associations in Germany, devoted to the promotion and presentation of contemporary art. Art associations are supported by their members, and their programme is both local and international. The origins go back to committed private initiatives in which citizens wished to provide support for art.
Partnership of German Art Associations (ADKV)
Exhibitions in art associations
The internet platform on contemporary art activities includes an annotated collection of links to exhibitions in art associations.
Many German cities and federal states have Artists’ Houses. They support artists with working scholarships, or studio apartments and workshops that can be made available for a limited period of time. As places where art is produced, artists’ houses often also serve as a platform for the presentation and communication of current trends in contemporary art.
List of Artists’ Houses
Goethe-Institut list of Artists’ Houses with further links to the various institutions:
Off-Spaces / Initiatives
Off-Spaces play an important role in cultural life in Germany. These often temporary initiatives are usually organized by artists, students, or young curators. Project spaces are publicly and privately funded, often with only modest financial means.
Berlin network of independent project spaces and initiatives
The website of the Berlin network of independent project spaces and initiatives includes a comprehensive list of Berlin project spaces.
Spaces for contemporary art.
Swiss initiative "offoff"
The website of the Swiss initiative "offoff" links to national and international off-spaces and independent curatorial projects.
List of project spaces in Germany:
Presentation of alternative art spaces
The website of the art magazine art includes a list of alternative art spaces throughout Germany, and is regularly updated.
Associations and Societies
In the early twentieth century artists founded the Association of German Artists (Deutscher Künstlerbund), the first national association to promote the interests of artists living in Germany and the freedom of art. Today, in addition to this Association, there are several artists’ associations, including the Federal Association of Visual Artists (Bundesverband Bildender Künstler, BBK) and the Federation of Women Artists and Patrons of the Arts (Verband der Gemeinschaften der Künstlerinnen und Kunstförderer, GEDOK). The most important German art associations are affiliated to the International Society of the Fine Arts (Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste, IGBK).
International Society of the Fine Arts (IGBK)
The International Society of the Fine Arts (IGBK) is the umbrella association for national art associations. The IGBK advises fine artists on work and sponsorship opportunities at home and abroad, provides contact addresses and names of partners for international exchange programmes, and comprehensive information.
Federal Association of Visual Artists (BBK)
The Federal Association of Visual Artists (BBK) is the largest professional association in Europe. It represents the professional interests of freelance artists in Germany vis à vis the national government. Der BBK represents more than 10,000 members, and its organization is based on the democratic participation of its members.