You will never get lost in the world of art again.
Brno Artothek signpost
The Artothek of the Moravian Gallery in Brno is a non-profit public art lending library. It was established in 2017 at the impetus of the Centre of New Strategies of Museum Presentation.
You can borrow works of art from the Artothek of the Moravian Gallery as decoration of homes, for study or enjoyment by people attending conferences or corporate events. Students and seniors can take advantage of a reduced fee!
The main partner of the project is Erste Private Banking operated by Česká spořitelna.
Our Artothek upholds the city’s traditions and is a crossroads of cultures by itself. Right from the beginning we have started collaboration with the Artothek of the MUSA Museum in Vienna and with the Artothek in Cologne. As a result, in Brno you will find a collection that covers the last 50 years of Czech and German fine art creations.
The cradle of public art lending libraries is the USA. The first artotheks appeared there at the turn of the 19th and 20th century thanks to changes introduced by American libraries throughout the country. As early as 1891 the library in Denver opened a public lending section of paintings and in 1904 the Public Library in the state of New Jersey started lending oil paintings. At present there are hundreds of artotheks of various types in America – from public institutions dedicated to children to private art lending libraries which enable the gradual purchase of the works (in the form of leasing).
On the European continent artotheks are most wide-spread in Germany where as a result of a long-term tradition there are now around 130 public or private art lending libraries. First mentions of lending paintings appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, but lending did not become more prominent until the beginning of the twentieth century when art lending libraries were established in Cologne, Ulm, Berlin and Hamburg. It can mainly be credited to the painter Arthur Segal, a member of the Neue Secession movement, who promoted the establishment of artotheks in order to improve the financial situation of artists. However, the development of institutions of this type was interrupted for twenty years by the Nazi regime.
In 1952 in Berlin, the artist, critic and art patron Franz Roh opened a lending library of paintings with the aim of forging a link between the public and contemporary art. This artothek launched the era of opening artotheks around the whole of Germany. Thanks to support by their founders and supple financial means some managed to support artists by purchasing their works. Others built their collections by inviting engaged gallery owners and artists to donate their works of art to the arising artotheks.
In the former Czechoslovakia the first art lending library was opened as part of the City Library in Prague in 1978 during the development of the Opatov housing estate. The Artothek in the Moravian Gallery has been established as the second public institution of this type after almost 40 years.