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fold faq Chair of Art History

Prof. Dr. Michael F. Zimmermann

Art history (and visual culture) is the study of Western art and architecture from Late Antiquity to the present day, as well as the history of visual media from woodcut and copperplate engraving to photography, film, illustration, etc. and, finally, globalized visual culture since colonialism. At the KU, students are taught approaches in art history and visual culture through the study of media systems. Particular attention is paid to the question of how (high) art constantly reinvents itself, taking inspiration from non-artistic image production but at the same time differentiating itself from it. The focuses are on visual arts from the Late Middle Ages to the present.

Research priorities

  • Visual culture of the modern period: art theory, science, and image use; graphics and artistic media
  • Tombs of the early modern period
  • 19th and 20th century art: comparison of France, Italy, German, and English-speaking countries
  • 19th and 20th century media history
  • Comparative history of the discipline and its institutions
  • Historical philosophy of images

Current research projects

  • Changing perception (1860–1930): fine art and media; medicine – physiology of perception – psychophysics; philosophy
  • Grammaticalization of the arts (1860–1930)
  • Cubism and the mediality of seeing: space as a projection vs. surface as an abstraction?
  • Manet
  • Adolescence (collaborative project)


More information (German)

Category: KUNSTGESCHICHTE

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