Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei
Rathaus Schweiz
Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei
by Adolf Wilhelm Keim

​Adolf Wilhelm Keim (1851–1913) is well-known not only for the mineral paints which carry his name, manufactured according to his principles by the company KEIMFARBEN GmbH today, he was also one of the most important and most innovative personalities committed to quality control in paint manufacture and, researched causes for damages by painting techniques.

He especially was engaged in improving painting technologies. In 1884 he founded in Munich the technical magazine Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei (=Technical Information for Painting) to inform about common paint and coating materials and to clarify problems and deficiencies in the paint industries. This magazine reached a wide readership: artists, decorative painters, architects, manufacturers, restorers, technicians, fine arts and trade schools. As of 1886 the Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei was the voice of the German Society for the Promotion of Efficient Painting Methods.
This society was founded with the intention of supporting Keim's Research Institute and Information Office for Painting Techniques at the Acadamy of Fine Arts in Munich. Results of the performed material tests and examinations then were published in the Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei. As editor, Keim shaped a mainly dominant and polemic tone toward the paint manufacturers and other competitors.

The name of the magazine was changed twice in the years from 1884 until 1944. The first two publication years were issued under the title Praktisch- und chemisch-technische Mitteilungen für Malerei, Farbentechnik und diesbezügliche Baumaterialienkunde (= Practical- and Chemical-Technical Information for Painting, Colour Technology and Respective Building Material Expertise).
From 1942, after the society was changed to German Society for Painting Techniques, the name changed until 1944 to Deutsche Zeitschrift für Maltechnik (= German Magazine for Painting Technique), edited by Kurt Wehlte (1897–1973) of the publishing house Callwey in Munich.

In 1955 the magazine was again available under the name Maltechnik - subtitle Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei und Bildpflege (= Painting Technique – subtitle: Technical Information for Painting and Maintenance). In 1972 the magazine's title changed to Maltechnik Restauro (Painting Technique Restauro) and since 1988 the journal Restauro reports about restoration, preservation and maintenance of international cultural heritage structures.
The journals of Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei are of the most important sources for art technology, restoration history and now online available for research.

Further literature:
Kinseher, Kathrin: „Womit sollen wir malen?“ (= What should we paint with?). Paint controversy and paint technique research in Munich. A contribution to Adolf Wilhelm Keim's oeuvre, Munich 2014.
Trillich, Heinrich: Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rationelle Malverfahren (Adolf-Wilhelm-Keim-Gesellschaft e.V.) München; ihre Geschichte, Einrichtungen, Ziele und Erfolge, München 1928.
(=German Society for the Promotion of Efficient Painting Techniques: History, institutes, targets and accomplishments)

The journals of Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei are of the most important sources for art technology and restoration history. The Technischen Mitteilungen für Malerei (1884 - 1943) are now online available for perusal and investigation.

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Introduction of
Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
Director of RCE,
Mr. Cees van 't Veen

It is a great pleasure to introduce this website and database of technical sources, ‘Technische Mitteilungen für Malerei' (TMM), as director of the Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands. It is the gateway to unique technical resource material, now digital available for conservation science and applied knowledge in the field of paintings, interiors and painted surfaces of built heritage. Instead of being stored in our library, this wealth of knowledge - covered by 40 years of existence of the journal Technische Mitteilungen - is now accessible to everyone.

We sincerely thank our partners from KEIMFARBEN GmbH and its director, Mr. Ruediger Lugert, for their generous support in this collaborative project.

For the investigation and conservation of cultural heritage, professionals use information from a great variety of sources. Knowledge on the technology of the making of art is indispensable for understanding the meaning and inevitably ageing of the artwork. As discussed in Dr. Kinseher’s introduction elsewhere on this website, the foresight of inventor and scientist Adolf Wilhelm Keim in the late 19th century to build a platform – TMM – for discussion among paint manufacturers, chemists, artists and conservators, was unprecedented. Researchers at the predecessor of the Cultural Heritage Agency, the Central Laboratory for Research on Objects of Cultural Heritage (CL), acknowledged the importance of the journal and succeeded in migrating the complete series to microfiche, which was stored in our organization’s library. The collection of microfiches provided the basis of the current Technische Mitteilungen database. And in addition, the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zurich kindly provided an index of the complete journal to the project.

In close collaboration with KEIMFARBEN AG, Switzerland, our agency has made the effort to make these copies accessible for knowledge distribution and research. A format previously used by other institutions, including the Huygens Institute in The Hague, was found to offer the most appropriate structure and layout. Most pages of TMM are now word-searchable, by using the Index or Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and some complete volumes have been transcribed. In fact, not only the volumes of TMM are available, but also two volumes of its successor, the Deutsche Zeitschrift für Maltechnik.

In continuation of the current project, the partners intend to form a consortium of users, who will practice the database as a research tool and will be committed to seek funding for improving the database in the near future. We will also do the effort to translate the texts in due time, in order to make these available to researchers who are not familiar with the German language.

We are aware that the quality of the OCR text may be insufficient at times, due to low resolution of the microfiches and, in addition, to the poor quality of some of the original prints. The project members hope to gradually replace these texts by improved copies. Besides, at the launch of this website (April 2015) pages 90-188 from volume 28 (1911-1912) are still missing, which hopefully can be added in due course.