State of the Art Archives. International Conference on Archives Documenting Modern and Contemporary Art

Berlin, September 2017: To mark the anniversaries of their foundation, partners of ZADIK – Central Archive for German and International Art Market Studies (est. 1992) in cooperation with the Department of Art History at the University of Cologne, basis wien — Documentation Centre for Contemporary Art (est. 1997), and the Institute of Modern Art Nuremberg (est. 1967) hosted an international conference on archives documenting modern and contemporary art.

Based on the observation that the work of art archives increasingly attracts international attention, the State of the Art Archives conference aimed to create a platform for art archives across the globe to present themselves and to investigate the status quo of art archival practice and research.

The support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) and Stiftung Brandenburger Tor made possible the gathering of more than 20 international art archives, documentation and research centres at Max Lieberman Haus in Berlin, including the Archives of American Art, Asia Art Archive, Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia and the Getty Research Institute, as well as many partners.

The conference met with a great response both from presenters and more than 120 registered participants, highlighting the necessity of encouraging further reflection and research into the role and development of art archives. It also emphasised how the work of art archives provides new stimuli for art sciences, such as the dynamically growing field of art market research as well as exhibition practice itself.

In order to make available the content of the conference, which constituted a comprehensive overview of current archival practice and research in the context of modern and contemporary art, the conference proceedings have been published online. The publication of all contributions in German and English can be found on the open access ART-Books platform at and can be downloaded using the following link:

The photographic and video documentation of the conference can be viewed at the organising institutions as well. A list of links to art archives and documentation centres in Europe and around the world can be found on the conference website: