Since 1767, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has awarded honorary memberships to artists or individuals who have rendered outstanding services to the Academy.
A team of authors from the fields of archives and provenance research has been working on this topic since 2022. In this database, as a work in progress, short biographies of the current 629 - mostly male - honorary members have been incorporated.
Various search functions allow research by individual, by award date, by category (artist, patron, scientist, holder of an official position or political function), by gender, or as a full text search. Texts on the conceptualization of honor, the historical development of the award modalities as well as on selected periods shed light on historical and socio-political backgrounds of the membership elections.
Not only the conceptualization of honor has changed over the centuries. Above all, honors or honored persons with a Nazi background and the way they were dealt with must be questioned and re-evaluated. Therefore, persons from whom honorary membership have been withdrawn are not simply deleted from the list, but are marked in gray.
How can I use the database?
The database lists all honorary members of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1767 until today. On the starting page you can see the complete list of honorary members, descending in chronology of the year of awarding.
In addition to a full text search, various other search options are offered. The number of hits is shown in brackets at the bottom left.
Active filters are marked with x. Several filters can be combined with each other. With x Reset in the field at the bottom left all filters can be deleted again.
Entering in the field allows full text search, e.g. entering a specific name or term. It is also possible to enter parts of a word.
Here you can filter for persons who have been appointed honorary members in a certain period. The division into these periods was done by the authors: It resulted on the one hand from the history of the Academy itself - according to the validity of the respective statutes - and on the other hand due to historical events.
Allows searching by professions or membership in a particular social group. Several categories can be selected. For example, you can filter honorary members who are architects or academy members.
Allows searching by predefined keywords: currently only searching for honorary memberships awarded posthumously.
Filters the honorary members by gender. The active filter is marked with a dot.
Allows to search for all deprived honorary memberships (Yes/No). The active filter is marked with a dot.
Allows the listing of all honorary members according to the award date: chronologically (descending is the default setting) as well as alphabetically sorted by last name.
Sources and literature
In the biographies only short citations of sources and used literature are given. The index with the complete citations can be found under Abbreviations, sources and literature.
A click on the logo of the academy leads you back to the homepage. There you will find further texts on the honorary members.