Professorship for Art History

Research and teaching at the Professorship for Art History focuses on the history and theory of art from the Renaissance through Modernism and Postmodernism to the contemporary period. The art of the 20th and 21st centuries is in the foreground. Beyond the classical objects of art history – painting, graphics, sculpture – diverse forms of visual culture are also the subject of study, such as object art, arts and crafts, design, photography, video, installation, performance and new media.

In addition to the historical classification and the art-scientifically based interpretation of these various arts, media and creative spaces of action, there is a special focus on the contexts of use of artistic design. This includes in particular thinking about the social interconnections of artistic practices, institutions and actors under specific political and economic conditions. Central to this is the connection between historical research and current issues. In this way, the Professorship for Art History opens up participation in contemporary social debates in which art and visual cultures develop their meaning and function.

The connection to concrete projects, such as the university's Kunstraum, and the direct work in front of originals in the context of excursions are an important part of the studies. Through the exchange with artists and curators and the transfer of the place of study into institutional spaces of action of the arts, professional fields of practice are to be tested and developed.

Completed projects

PriMus – PhD in Museums (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH)



  • Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen

Research associates

  • Anna Kipke
  • Dr. Sandra Neugärtner
  • Katharina Tchelidze
  • Dr. Mimmi Woisnitza

Secretariat for general information

  • Astrid Oden

Secretariat for appointments

  • Dr. Catharina Berents-Kemp

Financial administration

  • Stephanie Braune