How were the works to be included in the Collection Online selected?
Our long-term goal is to digitize virtually our entire collection. In selecting a first round of works for inclusion in our Collection Online, we aimed for a representative cross-section of our holdings: the Blue Rider collection, the art of the nineteenth century, and art after 1945. We have also included works currently on display as well as widely beloved highlights. We believe that serendipitous encounters with previously unknown and rarely-seen treasures are one of the great potentials of an online collection, and so we added a selection of unexpected objects that are currently in storage.
When will the museum's entire collection be online?
We make every effort to update and enlarge the Collection Online on an ongoing basis. The goal is to present the complete collection online and to provide extensive ancillary information on all works and individuals. Digitizing the works and investigating each object's copyright situation is a time-consuming task, which we work to complete while also mounting a richly varied program of exhibitions. That is why, despite our best efforts, we cannot predict when the entire collection will be online.
I saw an object in an exhibition and can’t find it in the Collection Online. Why is that?
Although we strive to digitize all works in our collection as soon as possible, not all objects are available online at this time. Objects that are on loan to the museum for presentation in a temporary exhibition will not be included in our Collection Online.
How do I know which information to include when I use an image?
To include the complete and accurate required information, simply copy the example credit line we provide for each object.
What do I do when I need image files for a specific work but can’t find it in the Collection Online or the resolution is too low?
To request reproductions or higher-resolution images, please contact our reproduction team directly.
Why don’t I see additional information on the provenance of works?
At the Lenbachhaus, we are fully committed to investigating the provenance of our collection and take the historical responsibility bound up with it very seriously. For over fifteen years, we have complied with international agreements (Washington Declaration, 1998; Declaration of the Federal Government, 1999; and the subsequent Recommendations, 2001) by conducting research into the provenance of the objects in our collection. The Credit line field includes some information on the past and present ownership of a work (e.g., donation, permanent loan, acquisition).
In addition to accurately documenting all acquisitions, we strive to identify works of art formerly in Jewish ownership and objects that were unlawfully taken from their owners and, when appropriate, restitute them to the heirs of the rightful owners. For legal reasons, we cannot provide information on objects for which this process has not been completed. However, we plan to include detailed information on the provenance of the objects, to the extent that publication is consistent with personality rights and data protection law, in a future expanded version of our Collection Online.
Here you can find for further information on provenance research at the Lenbachhaus.
Why are there more male artists than female artists in the Collection Online?
For 70 years now the Lenbachhaus has focused on strengthening the proportion of women artists in exhibitions and aquisitions, in the contemporary field, but also in the 19th century and in classical modern art. The aim of Lenbachhaus is, on the one hand, to strengthen positions that are already represented in our collection (e.g. Gabriele Münter, Maria Lassnig, Isa Genzken, Marianne von Werefkin) or to show art that has never been seen in Munich before in exhibitions (e.g. Georgiana Hougthon, Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Marcia Hafif, Lea Lublin, Senga Nengudi, Rochelle Feinstein, Sheela Gowda, Florine Stettheimer, Angela Bulloch, Sylvie Fleury, Monica Bonvicini, many of these artist had solo exhibitions at the Lenbachhaus in recent years).
For many years now, we have also focused on acquiring contemporary works by women artists when it comes to new acquisitions. Among other things, where the collection activities aim at furnishing entire artist's rooms, we strive for increasing parity in our acquisition policy: for example, with Ulrike Ottinger, Miriam Cahn, Hito Steyerl, Michaela Eichwald, Senga Nengudi, Sheela Gowda. Important acquisitions in the field of classical modernism serve to increase the percentage of women artists represented in the historical departments through positions not previously represented: e.g. Maria Franck-Marc, Elisabeth Epstein, Anita Rée.
In art up to the 19th century and in the Blue Rider / New Objectivity collection as well as in art after 1945 (with the exception of the latest international contemporary art since around 2000), the overall smaller proportion of women in acquisitions, exhibitions and collection presentations corresponds to the social and institutional framework. Thanks to the acquisition policy, it became possible that the average proportion of women artists in the exhibitions of the collection from the 16th century to the present in 2019 was now around 20%.
The collection, the program and the publications of the Lenbachhaus are by no means represented in the online collection and are completely different. Although the Lenbachhaus took on a pioneering role very early on, this is unfortunately not reflected in the online collection. Solely because of reasons of copyright, fewer artists are shown in the online collection whose copyright has not yet expired. We very much regret this ourselves. However, we cannot offer a solution, either financially or in terms of copyright: it is easier to publish art works that have been created up until the 19th century since there are no copyright restrictions anymore. We strive to show contemporary art as much as possible, too, but it takes time to clear rights individually.