The foundations for the MdbK were laid in 1858, when members of the Leipziger Kunstverein realised their idea of establishing a museum with a civic foundation. Over 150 years later, the MdbK is rich in history, also reflecting that of Leipzig as a city of art.
Maximilian Speck von Sternburg was one of the great art enthusiasts of the 19th century, Marion Bühler-Brockhaus and her husband established a significant collection of French 19th century paintings, Harald Falckenberg of Hamburg is one of the best-known collectors of the present age. With their commitment, they – and many others – feature in a tradition dating back over 150 years: in 1848 the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig was founded by merchants, publishers, traders and bankers of the city of Leipzig. Since that time numerous collectors have followed in their footsteps, bestowing the museum with gifts and foundations. Their private passion and their personal eye are ever-present when touring the collection.
Designed by the Berlin architects Hufnagel / Pütz /Rafaelian, the 36-metre high glass cube dominates the surrounding structures. The courtyards and terraces of the museum are visible from the outside, incorporating the concept of the Leipzig passages. The extent of space inside is unique, particularly in association with the manifold lines of sight and the views of the urban landscape. The materials glass, exposed concrete, limestone and oak dominate the interior, lending it an atmospheric variety. The presentation of contemporary works and spatially-related installations on the terraces, in the courtyards and stairways makes the interaction of art and architecture particularly tangible.
Stocking almost 100,000 volumes, the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts Reference Library for Aesthetics and Art History is among Germany’s largest museum libraries. The library began in 1837 as a result of generous endowments by Leipzig citizens to the local Art Society, which later on formed the basis for establishing the museum. The library complements the museum’s collections and purchases contemporary art literature on the international and regional stages. The inventory focuses on art and art history from the 17th to the 19th centuries. In addition to a rich collection of historical and current artists’ monographs and otherwise barely traceable exhibition and auction catalogues, we find significant source material in aesthetics and art history and also guides through the important European art scenes. Further, the library focuses also on purchasing international portfolio and collection catalogues.
The Library at the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts is a reference library and is open to all. We would be pleased to advise you on how to use the material. If you plan extensive research, please contact us in advance.
Library opening hours:
Tue* and Thu*
1 3-27 h
* on appointment Tel. +49 341 216 999 32
Amin Martini, Bundesfreiwilligendienst
+49 341 216 999 23
Security & Facility Management
Sven Hottenrott, Carpenter
+49 341 216 999 38
Karsten Hummel, Building Services
+49 341 216 999 39
Andreas Neumann, Building Services
+49 341 216 999 26
Harald Wiener, Building Services
+49 341 216 999 39