The cornerstones for the MdbK were laid in 1858 when members of the Leipziger Kunstverein realized their ambition to establish a museum in cooperation with a civic foundation. Over 150 years later, the MdbK is filled with history, reflecting Leipzig as a city of art.
Maximilian Speck von Sternburg was one of the great admirers of art in the 19th century. Marion Bühler-Brockhaus and her husband gathered a significant collection of French 19th century paintings. Harald Falckenberg of Hamburg is one of the best-known collectors of the present age. Together, they – and many others – align with a tradition that dates more than 150 years back: in 1848, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig was founded by merchants, publishers, traders and bankers of the city. From that point in time onwards, numerous collectors have followed in their footsteps, contributing to the museum through bestowments and foundations. Their passion for art and their individual focal points are still perceivable in tours around the collection.
Designed by Berlin architects Hufnagel / Pütz / Rafaelian, the 36-meter high glass cube peeks out of the surrounding structures. Courtyards and terraces surround the museum complex and blend into the city through adoption of the architectural style of the Leipzig passages. The generosity of space inside is uniquely defined through its play with different visual axes and an outlook onto the urban landscape. The material fusion of glass, concrete, limestone and oak mark the interior, endowing it with a vibrant appeal. The presentation of contemporary artworks and installations that are integrated into the design of our corridors, terraces, and courtyards demonstrate a skilful meeting of art and architecture.
The MdbK has a reference library with free access for everyone. Staff is always available to assist you with the use of our resources. If you wish to conduct extensive research in our library, please give us a call beforehand.
One of Germany’s largest museum libraries, our art historical collection comprises 100.000 items. The library’s origination dates back to the year 1837, when citizens of Leipzig founded the local art society, which would later also be responsible for the establishment of our museum. Our library is oriented towards suiting the museum’s collections, and draws contemporary literature about art from regional and international circles. A particular focus is set on art and culture from a time span between the 17th and the 19th century. Important source material for art historical literature ranges from guides about European art centers to contemporary monographs and a unique collection of rare exhibition catalogues. The library holds international collections catalogues, as well.
The library is open on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment (T: +49 341 216 999 56, M: firstname.lastname@example.org).