Curatorial Studies – Theory – History – Criticism is a two-year Master's program run by the Goethe University and the Städelschule, Academy of Fine Arts – in cooperation with the Städel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Weltkulturen Museum and Portikus. The following disciplines are involved through the institutes and / or faculty representatives at Goethe-University: Art History, Philosophy, Ethnology, Archaeological Sciences, Art Education and History. The course of studies is domiciled at Goethe-University's Kunstgeschichtliches Institut (Institute of Art History).
The focus of the curriculum is the reflection on curating art and on art criticism as an intellectual and aesthetic challenge. The objective is to acquire a competency that combines subject-related work with theoretical and specialist knowledge. One of the particular aims of this master’s program is to extend the scope of discussions on curating and the theory of art, so farclosely linked to contemporary art, in order to cover earlier eras and other academic disciplines, as well.
In the 21st century, museums and exhibition venues face new tasks and new challenges. In the course of postcolonial theory building and geopolitical changes since the Cold War, a fundamental change of thinking has set in. Under these circumstances such a change in perspective in the global art world but also as a reaction to developments in contemporary art, the presentation of art works and objects of cultural history has become a sociopolitical challenge requiring the history of art as well as cultural, social, political and philosophical aspects to be taken into consideration. This joint master’s program in Frankfurt responds to these challenges, offering future curators and art critics the opportunity to combine theory and expert knowledge with curatorial and art historical questions as well as with practical knowledge. Its unique combination of academic teaching, museums and exhibition facilities and alongside a seat of artistic training allows for the daily interweaving of curatorial issues, art criticism and the practice of art. A large portion of the course is reserved for the academic qualification of the students within their own disciplines – whether these be the art history, philosophy, ethnology, archaeological sciences, art education or history. The annual intake of 12 to 15 students guarantees a small and intensive research framework of events especially organized for the students.