France Stele Institute of Art History


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Contact info
Umetnostnozgodovinski inštitut Franceta Steleta
Novi trg 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 470 6100
Fax386 (0) 1 425 7800
Managed byScientific Research Centre (ZRC SAZU), Slovene Academy of Science and Arts
Barbara Murovec, Head
Phone386 (0) 1 470 6190

The France Stele Institute of Art History is the central scientific research institution for art history in Slovenia which conducts research into fine arts and architecture from the Middle Ages to the mid-20th century, including the study, publishing, and commenting on archival sources for their historiography and interpretation. As one of the 17 institutes of the Scientific Research Centre at the Slovene Academy of Science and Arts (ZRC-SAZU), the Institute of Art History also maintains a library and documentation on Slovene art monuments and artists.


Originally founded in 1972 as the Section of Art History at the Institute of History, this institution was renamed in 1975 as the France Stele Institute of Art History after its first head, the leading Slovene art historian of the time and academician Dr. France Stele (1886–1972). He was a pioneer of Slovene art heritage protection and a leading conservator of monuments formed his doctrine of protection under the influence of the Vienna School of Art History, Alois Riegl and his mentor Max Dvořák.


Special studies are dedicated to the art of the Romanesque and Baroque periods and of the 19th century, and to the work of architect Jože Plečnik. The results of the researches also contribute to the preservation of artistic monuments, which represent essential components of Slovene national identity. Special attention is paid to exceptional individuals such as Jože Plečnik, Tomaž Hren, and Francesco Robba.

Library and publications

The institute's library includes some 15,000 works relating to art history and is part of the ZRC-SAZU central library. Information on recent acquisitions is accessible through the COBISS computer system, and older publications are catalogued in alphabetical files. The institute has topographic and personal card files of Slovene art monuments and artists, and a collection of photographs and slides. These are constantly being expanded with new information and research findings. Research results are published as scientific papers in the institute's own journal and other periodicals and in monographs, with emphasis laid on Baroque sculpture and painting.

The central scientific publication of the institute is the annual Acta Historiae Artis Slovenica. Current reviews of publications, exhibitions, interviews with art historians and artists is published in the quarterly Art Chronicle Bulletin that was launched in 2003.

In 2013 the publication Le sang et le lait dans l’imaginaire médiéval [Blood and Milk in the Medieval Imagery] by Jure Mikuž was published online in French language (cf. link below).


The institute collaborates with Slovene and foreign experts as well as with galleries, museums, heritage conservation organisations and art history institutes, both in Slovenia and abroad (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and Hungary).

In collaboration with SAUR Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (AKL) the Institute of Art History collected a database of 3,688 artists that were active in Slovenia throughout history until the early-20th century. It is also a backbone for bibliographic and biographic encyclopaedia of artists working in Slovenia in the past.

Since 2014 the Institute has taken part in the EU project Women's Creativity since the Modern Movement (MoMoWo) that highlights the diverse contributions of women in design professions. The Institute closely collaborated with the Center for Architecture Slovenia.

Research programme and projects

The research group led by Dr. Barbara Murovec focuses on research about the Slovene artistic identity in Europe. Current topics of research deal with the Art Topography of Slovenia, the Valvasor Collection of Prints, Noble Maecenas and their Role in Sacral Art from the 16th to the 19th Century, etc.

The France Stele Institute of Art History also organises a 6-day Summer School focused on insights into field work methods of art topography.


Since 1990, in memory of France Stele an annual award for cultural heritage conservation achievements is given by the Association of Conservators of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia to meritorious art historians conservators and dedicated owners of the monuments.

See also

External links

Nerd files
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