About Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon

About Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon

Newly updated: 04/19/2024 - 3:33 PM

What is the Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon?

Welcome to the Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon, a bilingual (EN & FR) online dictionary and integrated database dedicated to Luxembourg's visual arts. Spanning from the 19th century to the present day, this resource connects individuals involved in Luxembourg's visual arts sector - artists, curators, critics, art historians, collectors, and more - with related information on organisations, art institutions, awards and exhibitions.

By providing this intricately interconnected context within the visual arts sector, the Konschtlexikon encourages fresh and diverse interpretations of Luxembourg's art history. Our aim is to become the most comprehensive reference guide to the country's visual arts sector. Each entry of the dictionary is meticulously crafted and includes full academic referencing, catering to both specialists and the general public alike.

Our entries are continuously updated and draw on a wide range of sources such as press articles, invitations and exhibition catalogues from private and institutional archives. The Konschtlexikon is an evolving project, as we strive for ever more accuracy and completeness. We encourage your active participation; if you have information that could improve an entry, we warmly welcome your contributions. Please refer to the "My Activities" section in the About page before you get in touch.

The Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon is brought to you by the Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv, a dedicated research centre for visual arts created within to Luxembourg's National museum of archaeology, history and art (MNAHA) in December 2021. Committed to preserving and promoting Luxembourg's artistic heritage, we invite you to explore Luxembourg's vibrant visual arts sector through the Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon.

What is the Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv?

The Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv (‘Luxembourg Art Archive’) is a dedicated research centre within the National museum of archaeology, history and art (MNAHA), focused on preserving, studying and promoting Luxembourg's history of visual arts. Its primary objective is to facilitate archival work, scholarly research and to disseminate knowledge about Luxembourg's art history.

By systematically documenting and cataloguing contextual sources from the visual arts sector, the Konschtarchiv aims to provide resources for studying and understanding the development of Luxembourg's artistic landscape. The Konschtarchiv has been compiling a collection of archives since 2023, which includes artist estates and other source materials such as press articles, flyers and publications. The Konschtarchiv’s dedicated staff conducts research and leads various projects, including the ongoing development of the Letzebuerger Konschtlexikon, a biographical and relational dictionary and integrated database.

The collection of the Konschtarchiv consists exclusively of archival materials and does not include artworks. While the Konschtarchiv is committed to promoting Luxembourg’s art history and collecting and facilitating access to valuable resources, it does not offer art appraisals.

The Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv’s Collection strategy for archival fonds

First and foremost, the Konschtarchiv collects archival documents, but not works of art. If you intend to donate or sell works of art, please refer to the Fine Arts Department at Luxembourg’s National museum of archaeology, history and art (MNAHA).

In the first phase of our collecting strategy, the Konschtarchiv collects the archival estates of Luxembourg artists, who are represented in the MNAHA Fine Arts collection and are important at a national level. These estates are historical, i.e. closed archival collections of either deceased or no longer active artists. However, if the research potential is notably high, we also consider collecting estates of artists not (yet) included in the MNAHA Fine Arts collection in order to diversify the existing narratives of Luxembourg's art history.

Generally, we identify the owners of the desired estates and contact them.

Definitions and admission criteria for the dictionary/database

For each person who meets the admission criteria, an entry is made in the database, either based on information already published or collected using the form we provide. Two basic criteria apply to the admission of individuals and groups to the database:

  • they must be or have been active in the field of visual arts,

and

  • there must be or have been a demonstrable link to Luxembourg.

 

These individuals or groups can be:

Visual artists (including artist collectives)

We define a visual artist as a person who has been actively involved in the artistic production of multiple autonomous works of art in the field of visual arts. This generally includes artists active in the fields of painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, performance, installation, art photography, digital art, video art, and mixed media. Artists who have worked or work exclusively in the fields of design, documentary photography, commercial graphics, etc. are generally not taken into account.

The following artists are considered:

artists who have participated in solo or group exhibitions abroad and/or in Luxembourg in venues exclusively dedicated to or intended for exhibitions,

or

artists who are renowned for having at least one work of art in a Luxembourg public collection.

Visual artists are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least two of the following criteria are met:

  1. the artist has/had Luxembourg nationality;
  2. they (have) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence);
  3. they maintain/maintained an important link to Luxembourg;
  4. they (have) produced a large part of their artistic work in Luxembourg;
  5. they have/had a significant influence on artistic creation in Luxembourg.

Art historians

We define an art historian as a person who, in contrast to an art critic, communicates about art by writing or teaching for historical purposes. By 'historical' we mean the analyses of artistic, cultural, historical, social, economic and/or political contexts.

Art historians are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least two of the following criteria are met:

  1. they have/had Luxembourg nationality;
  2. they (have) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence);
  3. they play(ed) an important role
    1. in the historiography of Luxembourg art; or
    2. in international art historiography. This point (3.b) is only applicable if at least one of the criteria 1 and 2 is fulfilled
  4. they carry/carried out a large part of their research on Luxembourg visual arts.

Curators

We define a curator as a person who conceives, organises and produces public art exhibitions. Their work in the field of art (i.e. exhibitions, publications) is open to and perceived by the general public.

Curators are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least one of the following criteria is met:

  1. they have/had Luxembourg nationality;
  2. they (have) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence);
  3. they play(ed) an important role
    1. with regard to exhibitions in Luxembourg; or
    2. with regard to international exhibitions. This point (3.b) is only applicable if at least one of the criteria 1 and 2 is fulfilled.
  4. a large part of their work consists/consisted in curating exhibitions featuring Luxembourg artists.

Art critics

We define an art critic as a person who, through their published writings or other media, express(ed) a critical judgement on art.

Art critics are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least one of the following criteria is met:

  1. they have/had Luxembourg nationality;
  2. they (have) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence);
  3. they refer(red) to Luxembourg visual arts in a large part of their art reviews;
  4. they are/were a member of a legally recognised Luxembourg association of professional art critics.

Gallerists

We define a gallerist as a person, who own(ed) an art gallery or if they are/were the artistic director of an art gallery.

Gallerists are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least one of the following criteria is met:

  1. they have/had Luxembourg nationality;
  2. they (have) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence);
  3. they regularly work(ed) with Luxembourg artists in Luxembourg and/or abroad;
  4. they exhibit(ed) the work of foreign artists in Luxembourg.

Collectors

We define a collector as a person, who owns/owned a privately and independently assembled collection of artworks. They present(ed) themselves publicly as a collector (e.g. through interviews, press articles, as a lender to an exhibition, etc.) and their collection is/was received publicly. Legal entities (e.g. banks or law firms) that own(ed) a collection of artworks and assemble(d) it themselves may also be considered collectors.

Collectors are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if at least two of the following criteria are met:

  1. the person has/had Luxembourg nationality; the legal entity is/was listed in the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register or exists/existed in Luxembourg within another legal context (e.g. as a municipality);
  2. the person (has) spent a large part of their life in Luxembourg (professional activity and/or residence); the legal entity is/was officially registered in Luxembourg;
  3. their collection consists/consisted partly or entirely of works by Luxembourg artists;
  4. their collection or part of it has been transferred to a Luxembourg art institution.

Art institutions

We define an institution as a professionally managed public or private establishment, whose main activity is/was exhibiting and/or studying visual arts (art museums, galleries, etc.).

Art institutions are considered to be linked with Luxembourg if they are/were physically located on the territory of Luxembourg.

Organisations (federations, foundations, associations and trade unions)

We define an organisation as an official group, in which artists, art professionals or art groups related to visual arts come/came together to represent common interests. However, these federations, foundations, associations and trade unions must focus/have focused most of their efforts or activity on the visual arts.

Organisations are considered to be linked to Luxembourg if they are/were registered as such in the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register or by existing within another legal context in Luxembourg.

Our approach to the publication of biographies

The following criteria determine the order in which the editorial board conducts research for its first biographies:

  • The artists are represented in the MNAHA’s collections
  • The research is for an exhibition/publication of the MNAHA
  • The choice of artist allows for a balance between:
    • Art genres
    • Genders
    • Generations, periods and movements
    • Highly acclaimed artists and those not (yet) part of the canon

The research and writing of biographies is a work-in-progress.

We use the following processes to add people to the database (without scientific research and biographical text):

  • We import data on Luxembourg artists represented in the MNAHA’s fine arts collection from our object database
  • We include documentation from our collection of private archives, documentation on current exhibitions and our press review
  • We include information on people that results from the research on other artists.

List of fully researched biographies (December 2023):

Bertemes Roger; Blanc Pierre; Brandy Robert; Brincour Berthe; Cito Claus; Feipel & Bechameil; Gillen Tina; Hames Albert; Herling Jochen; Lutgen Berthe; Michels Gast; Reckinger Marc-Henri; Reding Yola; Stoffel Michel; Sünnen Jos; Tse Su-Mei; Unger Arthur.

How to use the dictionary

Here are some explanations on how to use the Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon in alphabetical order:

Advanced search: In the "Advanced Search" feature, you have the option to utilise different fields and filters to combine search options and refine your results. The results obtained are based on the metadata of individual entries.

Artistic movement: The artistic movement refers to the artistic styles or movements with which an artist is/was affiliated. Note that this affiliation does not necessarily indicate direct participation in the movement, but rather a demonstration of tendencies aligned with it in their artwork. The disciplines documented in our dictionary encompass broad movements, without delving into finer nuances. Consequently, any sub- movement/tendency is classified within the corresponding larger or original movement (e.g. Neo-Expressionism and Expressionism).

Awards: This category includes various forms of recognition such as prizes, residencies, grants and orders of merit.

Citing this page: If you want to use our biographies, we kindly ask you to cite accordingly. There is a suggestion of how to cite articles at the end of each article.

Entities: The database of this dictionary is organised into five interconnected sections (entities): people, groups, awards, events and works. For a detailed understanding of these entities and their connection to Luxembourg, check "Definitions and admission criteria”.

Events: In this version of the dictionary, events primarily refer to exhibitions. These need to have been held in venues solely dedicated to, or claiming to solely be dedicated to, exhibitions. Exhibitions that took place in locations such as restaurants, private offices, or doctor's surgeries are not included. To find exhibitions on the maps, try searching for them with the groups tab, as the geographical location of an event is linked to the hosting group (institution, gallery, museum, off-space, etc.).

Dates: We use the codes from the EDTF standard for dates (Extended Date/Time Format). Accordingly, you might encounter dates with X symbols, question marks or slashes. Dates in this dictionary show according to European convention, id est dd/mm/yyyy

Groups: This entity includes collective entities that consist of more than one person, including artist collectives, organisations, associations, galleries, institutions etc.

Highlight: This section on the landing page serves two purposes: presenting newly added in-depth biographies and drawing attention to individuals, awards, or events that are particularly relevant at the moment.

Maps: The Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon features maps to provide geographical information about individuals and groups within the dictionary. Note that we enter our data by country or city, not by street. There are two types of maps available:

  1. General map: Featured on the landing page, this map offers a comprehensive overview featuring selected information about individual people, groups (including artist collectives, galleries, institutions, associations and more) and exhibitions.
  2. Individual maps: Featured in each person or group entry, these maps show specific information connected to a geographical location. They present a comprehensive view of the collected data on the respective individual or group.

Check the information provided above each map for detailed instructions on how to use them.

Newly updated entries: This constantly changing section on the landing page shows the latest added information.

People: This entity contains profiles of individual people.

Photographs: Please note that for most portraits, we have permission to publish but do not own the copyright. If you want to use these photos, please contact the photographer directly. The MNAHA cannot provide you the permission as we do not own the rights (except for the photos credited MNAHA). If you are a Luxembourg artist, curator, gallerist, art historian, collector, or their heir, we invite you to provide a portrait for your entry. Please send us the photograph along with the necessary convention. If you or your ancestor fulfil the admission criteria (see “Definitions and admission criteria”) and you want to provide biographical information, please fill out our form and send it to us (click here if you want to fill in the form for someone else than yourself, click here if you want to fill in a form for yourself). Please note that we will check the admission of the person to our database based on our admission criteria and that we will need some time to enter all the data.

Print: Use the print button to either print the entire entry or specific sections. Keep in mind that the dictionary is updated regularly and entries are subject to change. Please consider the environment before printing. The dictionary is available online at any time.

Role: The assigned role of a person or group reflects their primary role within the context of the dictionary/database. This does not imply that they were not active in other capacities or better known for other achievements.

Search: Type the name of the person, group, event or award you are looking for in the search bar.

Sources: Click on the light gray icons (they resemble a rectangular text page and a circular arrow) to see references in individual entries. In addition to bibliographical references, we provide information on whether the source is primary, secondary or tertiary, allowing you to make an informed judgment about its reliability and credibility.

Works: This initial version of the dictionary displays a selection of works from the MNAHA’s collection. These works may or may not represent the artist's most significant pieces. Feel free to browse the MNAHA’s online collection.

Structure of entries

Each dictionary entry about a person has the same structure. The length of the entry depends on the level of reception assigned by the editorial board. The four-level system, inspired by the Swiss SIKART dictionary system, is based on the critical reception and public representation of these people (e. g. participation in exhibitions, publications, scholarships and awards, acquisitions, etc.) and on art historical aspects. At level 1, individuals are simply listed in an inventory. From level 2 onwards, a free text is written for each person. Please note that the Konschtlexikon is a work-in-progress and that data and texts will be added as our research progresses. The texts are peer-reviewed.

Part 1: Information required to identify the person.

Part 2: Biography, presented as a free text under four strictly separate headings: life, artistic work/career, reception and a personal interpretation by the author.

Part 3: Information on the person's reception and connections (bibliography, exhibitions, awards, listed relationships (including people and organisations), signatures, external links, images, map).

Free text for part 2

The length of the biographical texts depends on the reception level assigned by the editorial board: 3,600 characters without spaces (reception level 2); 7,200 characters without spaces (reception level 3); 10,800 characters without spaces (reception level 4).

The biographical texts are divided into four sections, containing the following information:

  1. Life / biographical data

- geographical origin(s)

- members and social background of the family (data protection laws permitting)

- education (starting with their professional training)

- professional career

- private life (marriages/cohabitation, descendants, significant personal experiences, etc.)

  1. Artistic career

- artistic characteristics (styles, themes) and fields of activity

- exhibitions (monographic and group) (selection)

- links with other artists / collaborations (selection)

- public and institutional collections (selection)

- works in the public space (selection)

- memberships in associations / groups

- awards / prizes / residencies / scholarships (selection)

  1. Critical reception (selection)

This section illustrates the critical reception of the person in question with a few significant examples and references to the relevant literature (by art historians, art critics, journalists, etc.).

  1. Art historical interpretation

This section presents the author's own interpretation of the person in question and their work.

 

My activities in the Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon and the Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv collection

Are you a visual artist? Do you organise art exhibitions? Do you publish on Luxembourg visual art? Let us know about your upcoming activities by sending us individual and punctual documents, either by e-mail or by post.

We strongly advise against breaking up your existing archives and highly recommend keeping these documents together as a single collection. Therefore, we only ask to keep us informed about your upcoming activities. Please note that we can not accept private archive collections sent by post or e-mail. We first have to draw up and sign a donation contract, if applicable. We suggest reading our “collection strategy” before getting in touch.

For digital documents, we accept the following formats: pdf, tiff, jpeg, mp4 and mp3. For physical documents (paper or other), we would be grateful to receive 2 copies of each documents if possible. If there are physical and digital versions of the same document, please send us both.

You can send your documents by mail (MNAHA c/o Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv, Marché-aux-poissons, L-2345 Luxembourg) or by email (konschtarchiv@mnaha.etat.lu). Please do not send us documents that we cannot make public. By sending your documents, you agree to the documents and related information being published.

We would appreciate it if you could send your upcoming, individual documents so that we can add them to our collection of current documentation and incorporate the information into our dictionary:

  • Exhibitions
  1. Invitations (digital and/or paper)
  2. Posters or flyers
  3. Brochures or leaflets
  4. Price lists (accessible to the public)
  5. Exhibition plans
  6. Exhibition catalogues
  7. Press releases
  8. Press articles
  9. Art reviews
  10. References for audio-visual broadcasts (radio, TV, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
  11. Etc...
  • Grants, awards and residencies
  1. Press releases or other official communications
  2. Press articles
  3. References for audiovisual broadcasts (radio, TV, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
  4. Etc...
  • Conferences
  1. Press releases or other official communications
  2. Brochures
  3. Programs
  4. Press articles
  5. References for audiovisual broadcasts (radio, TV, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
  6. Etc...
  • Affiliation with communities (associations, artist groups, etc.)
  1. Annual/official reports
  2. Brochures
  3. Etc...
  • Publications
  1. Monographs or collections
  2. Brochures
  3. Press articles
  4. References for audiovisual publications (radio, TV, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

Please note that we reserve the right not to include all the documents provided in our collection. The documents that we cannot add include artworks, photographs of artworks, images of exhibition or events and any other document that cannot be published or that is already in our collection.

If you would like to share biographical information or send us your portrait, please fill out one of these forms (form about yourself or form for someone other than yourself) as well as the image convention and send them to us. Please note that we will check the person’s admission to our database on the basis of our admission criteria and that we will need some time to enter all the data.

Editorial board

The editorial board of our art dictionary is composed of dedicated professionals who bring their expertise and passion for the visual arts to bear on the project, curating and providing valuable information to users of the Konschtlexikon.

Jamie Armstrong is a trained art historian, linguist and museologist. As the head of the Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv, Jamie Armstrong has published several articles on Luxembourg art history and artists' estates and has been a jury member for Luxembourg art prizes.

Malgorzata Nowara holds a PhD in history of art and archaeology. She is a scientific collaborator at the Konschtarchiv. From 2009 to 2021, she was head of the MNAHA’s fine arts department. She has published extensively on Luxembourg art history and has been a jury member for different art prizes in Luxembourg.

Julia Wack obtained a PhD in history and an MA in arts and heritage. Between 2003 and 2022, she organised international art exhibitions. Her research has been published in scientific publications and the general press. At the Konschtarchiv, she studies the art historical aspects of the archival collection.

Together, Jamie Armstrong, Malgorzata Nowara, Julia Wack and the rest of the dedicated team, work diligently to ensure the accuracy, comprehensiveness and reliability of the information presented in the Konschtlexikon. Their commitment and passion for the arts drive the continuous improvement and growth of the platform, making it a valuable resource for art enthusiasts, researchers and the general public.

Disclaimer

The Lëtzebuerger Konschtlexikon is committed to providing accurate information. However, inaccuracies may occur despite our best efforts. If you see any mistakes, please let us know and send us the correct information and the corresponding source(s). Be sure to check “my activity” in the About section of this website before you get in touch. If no source is available, the information will not be recorded or published.

The dictionary may contain links to external websites, including artists' homepages, which are provided for informational purposes. The MNAHA (Musée national d'archéologie, d'histoire et d'art) does not guarantee the reliability or content of these websites and accepts no responsibility for any damages incurred, directly or indirectly, as a result of using the information provided on these websites.

Many of the sources used in the Konschtlexikon come from the Herr Archive, an analogue database skilfully compiled by Lambert Herr and acquired by the MNAHA in 2019. When a source is derived from the Herr Archive, we indicate this in the bibliographical reference. However, please be aware that Herr handwrote some of the dates and titles in these sources and we cannot guarantee their accuracy. We recommend consulting the digitised newspapers on eluxemburgensia.

We make efforts to identify the authors of all the photographs featured in the Konschtlexikon. However, we may not always succeed in finding the authors. If your copyright has been infringed, we apologise and kindly ask you to provide us with the relevant information. If you want to submit a new photograph, please send it to us together with the convention.

Project group

- MNAHA incl. Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv: Polfer Michel, Armstrong Jamie, Ferron Joel, Kugeler Edurne, Nowara Malgorzata, van Boxel Marie, Zeimet Gilles
- Ministry of Culture
- External consultant: Geoff Laycock (Scan Data Experts)
- Development: Intranda GmbH
- Design: Granduchy

Please note that our database was created in an open source environment and is highly compatible with the broader field of cultural heritage.

The software

In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Scan Data Experts, and intranda GmbH, the MNAHA departments "archives, digitisation, and library" and "Lëtzebuerger Konschtarchiv" have developed a new software, which represents a first in an open-source environment. This software allows for the creation of a comprehensive database of individuals who are linked to other entities such as events, organisations, awards, and works (a.k.a. prosopographical database). The database also offers comprehensive bibliographic referencing for every piece of data.

In other words, this means that each entry in the database is linked to at least one other entry, creating a complex network. Furthermore, all information, whether about the entry itself or its relationship with another entry, is accompanied by the source from which we obtained this information. The quality of the source is also specified, whether it is a primary, secondary, or tertiary source. This allows users to decide whether they wish to trust the source or prefer to conduct further research elsewhere. (Currently, it is not yet possible to provide the quality ranking of a source for the relationship between two entries.)

The software is versatile and can adapt to various database needs for individuals, making it a valuable resource for the (cultural) heritage field. The software has the potential to contribute to new insights in the field of heritage on a large scale, potentially even on a global scale.

The data model was created by Edurne Kugeler from the "archives, digitisation, and library" department of the MNAHA in consultation with the aforementioned internal and external partners (see "project group").

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