The main tasks of the Belvedere Archive are collection, archiving and documentation. Documentation about the museum can be traced back to the founding of the Moderne Galerie in 1903.
The Artist Documentation contains extensive information on over 20,000 mostly Austrian artists. It is continuously updated and can be accessed through an online database. The basis for the collection is formed by the estates of Hans Ankwicz-Kleehoven (1883–1962), Rudolf Schmidt (1894–1980), the Neue Galerie archive, and the Waldmüller archive.
The collection also includes parts of the estates of artists like Gustinus Ambrosi, Franz Barwig, Johann Peter Krafft, H+H Joos, Emilie Mediz-Pelikan, and Trude Waehner.
The almost complete documentation on the museum provides an insight into the history of Belvedere Palace and the development of the museum since 1903. The files are sorted by indexes and registry volumes.
Rudolf Schmidt Estate
The sculptor and art historian Rudolf Schmidt (1894–1980) collected material over several decades for a comprehensive lexicon of Austrian artists, the first volume of which (A–D) was published by Edition Tusch in 1980. After his death, the Belvedere purchased the entire documentation consisting of over 15,000 entries in 1981 so as to publish further volumes of the work. The Schmidt estate is sorted alphabetically by artist and is thus easy to access.
Hans Ankwicz-Kleehoven (1883–1962) was an art historian, curator in the Museum of Applied Art, and librarian in the Academy of Fine Arts. His extensive documentation on artists (newspaper cuttings, exhibition invitations and catalogs, correspondence, etc.) was bequeathed to the Belvedere and contains information on over 6,000 Austrian artists. It is being continued and continuously updated by the staff of the Archive. This documentation is also arranged alphabetically by artist.
Neue Galerie Archive
Otto Kallir-Nirenstein (1894–1978) founded the Neue Galerie in Grünangergasse in 1923 and is regarded today as an important patron of Austrian artists (including Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and Richard Gerstl). He was expelled by the Nazis in 1938 and emigrated to the USA, where he opened Galerie St. Etienne in New York. The new director of the Neue Galerie was Kallir’s long-standing colleague Vita Künstler, who headed the museum until 1952. The Belvedere acquired the valuable business records in 1976. They include business and artist correspondence, exhibition material, newspaper cuttings, and catalogs from the founding of the Neue Galerie until 1954. The material is clearly arranged in a card file system organized by name.
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller Archive
The art historian Rupert Feuchtmüller continued the research on Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller that had been started by Bruno Grimschitz, former director of the Belvedere (previously Österreichische Galerie). In 1996 Feuchtmüller published the results of his research in a monograph about the artist, which also contains a comprehensive catalog of works. Since 1997 the Waldmüller archive, which is arranged according to the Feuchtmüller works index, has been managed and updated by the Belvedere Archive.
Werner J. Schweiger Art Archive
In 2010 the Belvedere purchased the documentation of the Lower Austrian art historian Werner J. Schweiger (1949–2011), which he had collected over a large number of years. It consists of alphabetically arranged files of information (biographical and bibliographical data) on around 5,000 Austrian artists from c. 1890 to 1938. The names can be accessed via the mentioned online database.
Schweiger specialized in particular in collectors and dealers in Modernist art in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from 1905 to 1937.
New acquisitions by the Archive since 2007
In view of the statutory time constraints of the Federal Archive Law, the provisions of the Data Protection Law, and the status of research, the archive material can be used only to a limited extent. Due to conservational reasons digital copies can be presented instead of original documents.
FI Margarete Richter
Mag. Katinka Gratzer-Baumgärtner
Mag. Stefan Lehner