Representations of music in the visual arts significantly contribute to a better understanding of music history. This applies both to the depiction of musical instruments and music-making within concrete performative contexts, as well as to issues of symbolic communication within unique cultural and socio-political contexts.
Since 2007, the role of musical imagery for identity construction has been analyzed within the framework of a collaborate research project on Music, Identity, and Space, highlighting the role of music in public space (with case studies on composers’ monuments and public art in the City of Vienna, among others). Within the next years, an important collection of iconographical documents related to Austrian music history, previously assembled at the Musicological Institute of Innsbruck University by Walter Salmen and Tilman Seebass over the past four decades, but now allocated to the Musicology Department of the ACDH-CH, shall be reorganized and digitally transformed, once notorious copyright problems have been solved. The ‘Innsbruck Archive’ comprises ca. 4,300 items, including ca. 2,000 Tirolensia, and 1,300 images of music in the late-medieval illuminated manuscripts of the Austrian National Library. Artwork will also be implemented in the online version of the Austrian Music Encyclopedia, wherever suitable.