Curatorial Studies – Theory – History – Criticism is a two-year Master's program run by the Goethe University and the Städelschule, State Academy of Fine Arts – in cooperation with the Städel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Weltkulturen Museum and Portikus. The following Goethe University disciplines are involved through the institutes and / or faculty representatives: History of Art, Philosophy, Ethnology, Archaeological Sciences, Art Education and History. The course of studies is domiciled at Goethe University's Kunstgeschichtliches Institut (Art History Institute).


The focus of the curriculum is 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, which have to date been closely linked to contemporary art, so that they cover earlier eras and other academic disciplines, as well.


In the 21st century, museums and exhibition venues are faced with new tasks and new challenges. Under the conditions of global works of art as well as in a reaction to developments in contemporary art, the presentation of art works and objects of cultural history has become a sociopolitical challenge that demands that the history of art as well as cultural, social, political and philosophical aspects are 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 specialist knowledge with questions relating to curating and the history of art, and 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 questions, 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 history of art, philosophy, ethnology, archaeological sciences, art education or history. The annual intake of 12 to 15 students guarantees a small and intensive research framework in events specially organized for the students.

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