in 2012 the library of the Deutscher Künstlerverein (Association of German Artists in Rome) found its permanent location at Casa di Goethe, after an eventful history, marked by divisions and relocations as a result of the two world wars.
In 1900, the historically valuable collection of books that the Deutscher Künstlerverein had built up during its active period from 1845 to 1915 also included the holdings of older libraries that had been created specifically for the German artists living in Rome: the reading library (Gemeinschaftliche Lesebibliothek) of Carl Ludwig Fernow (1795), the “Bibliothek der Deutschen” (1821) and finallz the “Bibliothek der Deutschen Künstler” (1832). Like no other, this collection of books reflects the use of literature by German artists in Rome during the long 19th century. This applies both to the more than 4,700 preserved bound resources with their dedications, marginal notes and sketches as well as to the historical library documents: The archive of the Künstlerverein, which is also kept in the Casa di Goethe, not only contains the catalogues of all the historical German artist libraries in Rome, but also their access and lending directories.
Photo Enrico Fontolan
The cataloguing, reconstruction and scientific evaluation of the Künstlervereinsbibliothek was part of the project Künstlerwissen und Künstlerlektüre im Rom des 19. Jahrhunderts (Artist Knowledge and Artist Reading in Rome in the 19th Century), generously supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaftand, carried out by the Casa di Goethe in cooperation with the Department of Art History of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. For this purpose, online catalogue has been created which contains the titles of preserved and lost resources. In addition, all title data sets have been extended to include information on provenance and use, so that this information has been made permanently accessible to the research community.
Until 20.9.2020 some of the resarch resultats are presentated in an exhibition at Casa di Goethe. A catalogue with the same name has been published (German and Italian)
Quellen der Inspiration. Deutsche Künstlerbibliotheken in Rom 1795 – 191
Edited by Ulf Dingerdissen, Maria Gazzetti and Michael Thimann. Two essays by Ulf Dingerdissen and Michael Thimann, 241 pages , 82 illustrations, € 18,0
The history of the German artists' libraries in Rome and the evaluation of their use, will be presentend in a monograph which will also contain an extensive appendix with the most important library documents.
After completion of the project, the research results will be presented in an exhibition here at the Casa di Goethe.
Rome, December 2017
Dr. Maria Gazzetti
Director of the Casa di Goethe