Documenting Art Exhibitions

  Could we understand 20th century art, not only by looking at artists and tendencies - but by also examining those moments when the art met its public, that is through, the history of the exhibition?
  Exhibitions can offer rare glimpses of both an aesthetic and a social milieu. The trappings of the exhibition - invitation cards, leaflets and most critically catalogues - embody an invaluable archival resource. They tell us not only about the scope of works on show, but who showed with whom, the graphic style of the day and styles of writing.
  Iwona Blazwick and Nayia Yiakoumaki in the preface of the reprinted catalog on occasion of the retrospective exhibition of the iconic 1956 'This is Tomorrow' exhibition, staged as 'This is Tomorrow (Revisited)' at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2010.

 artist-info is an indispensable tool for
- your Art World Research
- Artist Estate Support and Development
- Authority File
- Art Advisory Resource
- Inspiration for Exhibition Opportunities.
Revalue your individual profile and make it visible to art professionals, researchers, and art lovers.
 Research - Analyzing - Visualizing
based on documented exhibition data, artist-info is offering a groundbreaking new perspective for art history, and the relational context between artists, exhibition venues, and curators through their exhibition histories.
 What are we documenting?
Location - The exhibition venue with name and address.
Time - The exhibition start and end date.
Title - The exhibition title and subtitle.
Artists - All artists participating at the exhibition and who are part of the checklist.
Curators - If known all curators who organize the exhibition.
Time Scope - Solo- and group-exhibitions from 1880 up to the present.
 New Insight
Digitized and interactive exhibition documentation makes art exhibition history searchable by
/ artist / venue / curator / exhibition (catalog) title,
and across
all borders / barriers / media / decades (1880 > today).

The Role of Art-Exhibitions as Entity

 Art exhibitions are since many decades the #1 media to make artwork visible to the public, to reconsider concepts and styles, nationally as well as internationally.
 Since the end of the 19th century many exhibitions were groundbreaking and influential for the development of the different styles and concepts. See our selection in our blog post  artist-info blog post Influential Contemporary Art Exhibitions in the 20th and 21st Century, each with the complete list of participating artists, references to other exhibitions and related information.
 As a result, art exhibitions are archival objects in their own right, important indicators of perception and appreciation of art and artists at a certain point in time.
 Art exhibitions outline the profile of artists, galleries, museums, non-profit and collector's venues and curators. They are fundamental for self-understanding, branding, fundraising, future development, networking, public awareness, breaking new ground, finding new contacts, finding new clients.
 Group exhibitions are of particular importance to show the difference in the artist's individual profiles and to revalue their distinct position and concept.
 The art world is very much fragmented. Nations concentrate on their cultural heritage, art museums are grouping among each other in favor to strengthen their profile, the success of galleries depends very much on their individual profile. Artists are strategically planning their career to may be having one day a solo exhibition at the MoMA.
 The structure of art exhibitions varies from solo exhibitions to large biennials, their focus may be presenting new art work, comparing different positions, focusing on a specific theme, giving a retrospective overview, accompanied by important texts and surveys. However, the access to exhibitions as an important source of information is very limited if not impossible without digitization.
 Digitization makes exhibition information searchable and indispensable to reveal its important value.
 In addition, artists, exhibition venues and curators are connected among each other through exhibitions. Each of them is reinforcing their profile through exhibitions.
 To better understand, explore and develop this important positioning is capable of visualizing the many thousands of exhibition connections among artists. By documenting always all participating artists of group exhibitions our offers new, groundbreaking insight. is documenting exhibitions across all these barriers and borders, from 1880 up to the present, worldwide, to make all elements searchable and visible.
 As venues are coming and going the artist remains for the art world the corner stone and anchor across decades. This was the reason to name our main page artist-info. We publish digitized exhibition information since November 1996 on the Internet, based on our database which we started in 1993.

Exhibition Information as Data Sources

 Exhibition catalogs are an important resource for artwork, texts and research results.
 Making artist names, which are the key information of solo- and group-exhibitions, searchable across all exhibition venues and their exhibitions is a major benefit for research with
 The relational structure among artists, exhibition venues and curators is used by to cross-reference all exhibition information.
 In libraries exhibition catalogs can only be searched by exhibition title/subtitle and the text authors, but not by their key content, the exhibited artists. By including exhibition catalog titles in its search results helps with the list of all participating artists of an exhibition to make library holdings searchable by the artist name.
 The common way is a one-dimensional structure: An artist or venue lists the solo- and group-exhibitions like on a piece of paper. In most artist biographies the other group-exhibition artists are missing. No search-engine finds this information.
 Without the artists of exhibitions can't be researched across venues and decades. The selected artwork and critical texts published in catalogs as well as the investigative work of curators vanishes with the time because of the missing digital access to the artist index of exhibition catalogs. is documenting exhibition histories in a multi-dimensional way on an interactive timeline to research with a mouse click the artist, exhibition venue or curator in this time line.

Extending the Keyword Index of Exhibition Catalog Library Holdings

 Exhibition catalogs may include important findings by art historians, new point of views and perspectives. Exhibition catalogs in libraries can only be searched by exhibition title and subtitle and a limited number of text authors. They provide this information in their own library catalogs, or in national or international library meta information systems. However, an index of the key content, the exhibited artists in an exhibition, an indispensable key information, is missing. offers with its database this artist-index of exhibition catalogs on an international meta level. By including exhibition catalog titles in its search results helps with the list of all participating artists of an exhibition to make library holdings of exhibition catalogs searchable by the artist name. A very small number of museums and institutions is offering such an index of shown artists, sometimes spanning many decades, and are leveraging like this their valuable and important work. helps to fill the large gap of missing catalog artist documentation. is extending library exhbition catalog keyword information

artist-info Library Catalog extension
artist-info Library Catalogs (PDF)

Additional Authority Control for Artists, Exhibition Venues, and Curators

 As digitized content is growing, securely identifying an artist by the name has become vital.
 The Thieme-Becker/Vollmer dictionary, published between 1907 and 1962 in 37 + 6 volumes, provides an unrivaled source for identification and artist biographies of earlier decades and centuries. Based on artwork in auctions is another source to identify artists and to find at least short biographical information. is a new pillar for art world research as it is based on exhibition information, which is not part of artist name dictionaries. proves to be a new authority file for artist names, based on secure and reliable information of exhibitions.
 To complement an artist's, exhibition venue's, or curator's profile on we are adding whenever possible a Wikipedia page and page, which include authority control and VIAF information.
 To identify digitized data the authority files of libraries and archives worldwide summarized on are an important key index. However, and the many attached national (LOC, BNF, DNB-GND, RKD, etc.) or institutional (Getty ULAN®, wikidata, etc.) authority controls will never be able to cover this many names like artist-info is documenting through exhibitions and, accordingly, many artists names, exhibition venues, and curators will never have a VIAF Id. access to and from External Databases

artist-info link to external database
artist-info link to external databases (PDF)

Documenting your exhibitions on is advantageous

 as your individual profile, your legacy and recognition don't get lost in the haystack of search engine results in an increasingly digitized world
 to show your focus and concept
 for the individual profile of your exhibition venue
 for positioning among all other exhibition venues
 as cross-linking of all information offers new insight
 regarding the selection of artists
 regarding the work of curators
 as an artist index of your exhibition catalogues
 one master database for all artist names, including their aliases