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Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (AKL)
Artists of the World

Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker

Edited by: Andreas Beyer, Bénédicte Savoy,  and Wolf Tegethoff
Founded by: Günter Meißner

The Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (AKL), [Artists of the World], is the successor to the traditional Thieme-Becker and Vollmer standard reference works on art history. It has been published since 1991. Long a standard work in its own right, the AKL is intentionally not limited to the “grand masters”, but includes artists from all over the world and throughout the ages from antiquity to the present. It not only contains painters, sculptors and graphic designers, but gives equal weight to architects, designers, photographers, calligraphers, craftsmen and many other artistic professions. Around 1,500 artist biographies are contained in each volume. An index arranged according to country and artistic profession follows every tenth volume.

According to the updated schedule for the AKL, the print edition will be completed in 2022. In the meantime, the proportion of articles published exclusively online will continually increase.

The first volumes of the AKL were compiled from 1969 onwards. This period of almost four decades is now being covered in supplementary volumes, the first of which was published in 2005, for the letter A. The fifth supplementary volume (Cassini – Czwartos) was published in 2012.

Every entry offers the following clearly structured information:

  • The name of the artist, including all variations of the name by which he or she was known. Pseudonyms, maiden names, or names previously wrongly attributed are deciphered. Respective cross-references to the main entry are included.
  • Dates of birth and death of the artist and characteristics of the works and entire artistic oeuvre
  • Information regarding the influence of this artist on his or her cultural environment
  • A selection of the artist's works with their locations
  • A selection of exhibitions on the artist
  • Detailed lists of the artist's autobiographical writings and other writings
  • An extensive bibliography. Also cross-references to entries in other reference works, unprinted source material and catalogues
  • A signature of the article's author (or editor) at the end of every entry

Since January 2010, we are offering a combined print + online annual subscription. For more information, please visit www.degruyter.de/akl.

Author Information

Andreas Beyer, Universität Basel; Bénédicte Savoy, Technische Univ., Berlin; Wolf Tegethoff, Zentralinst. für Kunstgeschichte, München.

"In my opinion, the AKL is a cultural act on a global scale."
ptah, Helsinki, Nr. 2, 2004