About Us

Archive of Fine Art
The Archive of Fine Art arose in 1984 as a part of the activities of Gallery H in Kostelci nad Černými Lesy. The original focus (Czech and Slovak Fine Art after 1939) quickly broadened, and the Archive opened universally – to new fields, times (old art) and territories (to foreign art and artists in exile). However the main focus still remains contemporary Czech and Slovak Fine Art. The foundation of the Archive is its catalogues which are classified into sections: catalogues of solo exhibitions (according to author and date) catalogues of group exhibitions (according to the name of the exhibition), catalogues of groups (according to the group`s name and date) catalogues of exhibitions and events at individual galleries (by region and title of exhibition hall and date). The saving method enables the organisation of additions, eliminates duplicity and makes the most of as yet unprocessed documents for study purposes.An unusual section is the Typographic collection of about 10,000 books arranged according to the names of the illustrators and Graphic artists. Aside from catalogues, monographs, books and magazines, the Archive also collects, processes and makes other documents available which are not systematically archived elsewhere such as invitations, posters, press releases, texts, cuttings, photography, slides, multimedia, cards and the like. Today this is most likely the largest specialised collection of its kind, totalling approximately 100,000 items in all.Duplicit material is offered for exchange to non commercial galleries, and are available for purchase to other interested parties at ( www.artarchiv.cz - Sale of duplicates). We accept records of searched for catalogues, invitations, books and so on. Since 2003 the Archive has been run by the Civic Association of the Archive of Fine Art. The activities of the Civic Association are supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and Magistrate of The Capital City Prague.

Library and Exhibitions
Since January 2010 the Archive has run the specialised library within DOX, The Centre of Contemporary Art, and organizes exhibitions in the adjacent small tower. Only a part of the Archive`s documents (basic literature and selected periodicals) are kept at the library. Thanks to assistance from The National Technical Library the Archive gained a large furnished warehouse in Písnice, Prague 4 for medium- term lease.

abART Information System
Since 2003 the Archive of Fine Art has been developing its database system abART in order to process and manage documents and information. abART is a relational database based on the automation of uploaded data and its universal connectivity.

Information (data) in the database is not mechanically transferred but rather linked to its original sources, currently mostly to documents saved in the Archive. Information saved to the abART system is openly available and can be shared and spread in accordance with the Creative Commons licence BY–NC-SA (Attribution – Non commercial – Share Alike)

abART is universally open with regard to time and field and it is also possible to process information from non artistic and cultural spheres. Furthermore the Archive enables the connection of a wide range of files, including text, image and multimedia files.

The automation and connectivity of the data enables the creation of specialized files. Lists of exhibitions events, literary inventories, lists of typographic and illustrated works, content of anthologies, magazines, indexes, anniversaries, jubelees, citizens and regional personalities etc.

Elements of all the catagories saved on abART ( people, groups, institutions, events, documents and concepts) can thanks to the structure of the system be accessed via numerous routes. Its interconnected functionality means that errors are easily traced and corrected in one go.The processing of the system takes place online and it is updated daily. The information can be easily exported on the web and to other database systems. abArt is a product, tool and process.Everyday the Achive features two randomly selected anniversaries of an artist`s birth and death on its webpage. The selection criteria can be set according one`s requirements to citizens, anniversaries, jubilees and overviews.


In June the Archive began to cooperate with the Czech wikipedia project GLAM/abART. On the 10th of september 2012, 250 articles on Czech wikipedia link to the abART system and 1200 articles in the abART system are based on entries on.

New Browser
abART`s new browser enables full text search. Advanced search is based on a combination of filters. The abART system has around 25,000 hits per month.

abART and Regional Personalities
The Archive has begun to cooperate with the Education and Research Library of the Pilsener Region. AbART processes West bohemian personalities (7000 personalities) and creates references to their place of birth, death and the institutions in which they were active.abART - From the Czech Republic to the world

The aim of the abART project - From the Czech Republic to the world - funded by the state cultural fund serves to propagate Czech Art abroad. The project has selected 1000 artists, each having their own entry with a portrait photo and 20 pictures of the artists work on the system.