Since 1973 the artothek has offered visitors the opportunity to borrow works of contemporary art. Unlike a brief encounter at an exhibition, this approach gives art lovers the opportunity to experience the quality and message of a work of art as it evolves over a certain period of time at their place of work or in their homes. The collection of the artothek contains works of art of different styles and techniques by international artists as well as those from Cologne.
The artothek provides addresses of studios, galleries and other venues, as well as information to guide in the selection of artworks which may be borrowed. Its archives serve as a public source of information on the Cologne art scene.
Alongside the museums, galleries, and independent initiatives in Cologne, the artothek provides an exhibition space which offers artists the opportunity to experiment. Its objective is to show all fields of contemporary art by international and local artists - from painting, drawing, sculpture and photography to installation works and performances.
The artothek provides visitors with the opportunity to borrow contemporary art and gives them information above all on the Cologne art scene. It is also a venue for exhibitions devoted to local and international artists. Its objective is the support and dissemination of contemporary art.