The collections of the Art History Department of the Institute for Art History and Musicology contain over 100 casts, around 600 original works (diagrams, paintings, autographs and sculptures), over a million working images (reproduction diagrams, slides, negatives, photos, postcards, etc.), some historical equipment and approx. 1,000 typescripts (exam papers).
Parts of the cast collection come from the property of the former Mainz Civic Association for Plastic Art (founded in 1871), which collected plaster copies of the most famous sculptures.
After the Second World War, the remains of the badly damaged collection were donated to the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and distributed to the Institutes of Art History and Classical Archaeology. Here it was initially used for teaching, today it serves to document and represent the canon of works of art that were of particular interest around 1900. Among other items, casts of Moses by Michelangelo (Georg Forster Building Departmental Library), the Naumburg donor figures Uta and Ekkehard, the Mandonna from Hallgarten and the bust of the Florentine merchant Pietro Mellini by Benedetto da Maiano have been preserved.
A collection of copies of early Christian and Byzantine mosaic pictures (today partly in the stairwell of the Georg Forster Building) was used for the furnishing of the Institute for Art History (formerly Binger Straße 26), which was opened in 1960, by the then director of the Institute for Art History, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Gerke. At the same time, it served as direct visual and working material for teaching. The copies were made in workshops in the Ravenna area after the Second World War.
The Collection of Large and Small Photo Slides arose from the practice of teaching art history. Together with the projection devices, they document the art canon taught and the various techniques used in the teaching of art history. Together with the holdings of the photo library, it is an important part of Mainz's specialist history. Of particular interest is the collection of color slides of wall and ceiling paintings made by the National Socialist regime between 1943 and 1945. Since 1998, these color slides have been on loan from the Foto Marburg photo archive and can be used online via the Central Institute for Art History in Munich.
The collections of graphics, drawings and posters came to the institute through donations. Among them are works by well-known artists such as Erich Heckel, Karl Hofer and Hans Purrmann as well as a bundle of works by the Working Group of Palatinate Artists (APK) from the 1950s.