Doerner Institut


At the heart of the work undertaken by the e today is the care of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, whose collections range from fourteenth-century to contemporary art. A further emphasis of our work is technical research and the analysis of historical painting methods and materials as well as the development of physical and chemical methods for examining art objects. The institute is also responsible for preventive conservation related to the museum buildings. Through its combination of practical restoration, day-to-day conservation treatments and internationally recognised scientific research, the Doerner Institut makes an important contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Information on current and past projects can be found on the website of the Doerner Institut. 

News - research on the œuvre of Emil Nolde

Emil Nolde, Party, 1911, on canvas, 91,5 x 106 cm © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

I would so much like my work to grow out of the material …
Art-technological research on the œuvre of Emil Nolde

Between 2018 and 2021, a joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be devoted to the painting technique and the materials used by the Expressionist artist Emil Nolde. The partners in this multidisciplinary research project are the Doerner Institut of the Bavarian State Painting Collections in Munich (co-ordination), the Stiftung Seebüll Ada and Emil Nolde (Nolde Foundation Seebüll), and the Hamburger Kunsthalle, in co-operation with the University of Hamburg and the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Dresden.

Emil Nolde (born Hans Emil Hansen, 1867–1956) is undisputedly one of the best-known and most important representatives of German Expressionism. The Nolde Foundation Seebüll, as the manager of the Nolde estate, looks after the artist's former home and workplace, including an extensive collection of Nolde’s works, as well as an archive of about 25,000 documents and other items. Now, through a technological evaluation of the artist’s archive and the studio contents, as well as extensive imaging, analytical and other technological investigations of around 50 paintings from the collections in Seebüll, Hamburg and Munich, Emil Nolde’s techniques and materials are being explored for the first time. Although the study of painting techniques has successfully led to the clarification of a wide variety of art-historical and cultural-historical questions in numerous artists of the Modern period, the systematic, art-technological recording of large complexes of works is still rare. The project will thus broaden the art-historical research into the ‘invisible’ art-technological perspective on work processes, the choice of paints and chronological developments in the course of Nolde’s long artistic career. In addition to a technical symposium, the project is planned to include a presentation of important research results in a modular form of exhibition.


The Doerner Institut was founded in 1937 in Munich as an independent ‘Reichsinstitut für Maltechnik’ (Reich Institute of Painting Techniques). Its present name comes from the painter and art analyst Max Doerner (1870–1939), professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, who garnered international acclaim for his work The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, first published in German in 1921. The institute, its laboratory, and its technical research department, which also carried out restoration work, became affiliated with the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in 1946. The conservation and restoration departments of the Doerner Institut and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen were fully merged in 1977. 


The Doerner Institut has published numerous works over the past decades which are part of the standard body of literature on conservation-restoration, the use of technology to analyse artworks, and conservation science.

A complete list of all publications and further information on the institute’s history and projects can be found on the website of the Doerner Institut. 


Doerner Institut
Barer Straße 29
D 80799 München

Sekretariat: Frau Ruth Krauß
T +49 89 23805-155
F +49 89 23805-156