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Born as the son of an art historian (Gert Adriani), he studied history of art, archaeology and history at the universities of Munich, Vienna and Tübingen, earning a doctorate in 1964 on the topic of the design of medieval places of sermon. After working for some years as a conservator in Darmstadt, Adriani became the director of the newly founded Kunsthalle in Tübingen, the town of his last alma mater, in 1971.
He published important work documentation books on Joseph Beuys (1994), Paul Cézanne (1982 and 2006), Auguste Renoir (1988), Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1987) and the contemporary German painters known as Junge Wilde (2003).
- "Der Ermöglicher: Ausstellungsmacher Götz Adriani wird 70". Esslinger Zeitung. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Unistadt würdigt Verdienste des Kunsthallen-Chefs". Schwäbisches Tagblatt. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.