Two-year Master of Arts program: Curatorial Studies

Two-year Master of Arts program: Curatorial Studies

Goethe University Frankfurt

Students with Portikus curator Christina Lehnert, 2019

April 16, 2019
Two-year Master of Arts program: Curatorial Studies

Application deadline: May 31, 2019
Goethe University Frankfurt
Curatorial Studies – Theorie – Geschichte – Kritik, Kunstgeschichtliches Institut
Senckenberganlage 31
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Curatorial and Critical Studies is a two-year Master of Arts Program by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste–Städelschule in cooperation with Städel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Weltkulturen Museum and PORTIKUS.

The degree program is internationally unique, defined by the close collaboration between the university, the art academy and the museums. Through innovative learning formats the students can combine academic study and research with curatorial discourse and professional practice.

The main focus of this Master of Arts program Curatorial Studies—Theorie—Geschichte—Kritik is the scholarly examination of the complex tasks of curating and art criticism, with an emphasis on their theoretical and practical application. It is the aim of this program to combine an object-related approach with theoretical expertise. While other programs have primarily focused on contemporary art, here the examination of curating and art criticism includes earlier periods and different fields of cultural studies as well.

In a globalized art world, and in response to developments within contemporary art, the presentation of art and art historical objects has become a complex challenge, which necessitates the consideration of art historical as well as cultural, social, political and philosophical aspects. Museums and other art institutions have to face the task of rephrasing the notion of the public realm. The repercussions apply not only to institutions directly involved with contemporary art. In fact, the shift is as fundamental as to be of concern to the operations of traditional art historical, ethnological and historical collections.

The Master’s study program provides prospective curators, exhibition organizers and art critics with a theoretical and practical basis for their future occupation. Already during their master’s program, students have the opportunity to combine academic expertise with curatorial skills and practical knowledge. The Frankfurt program of study features a cooperation—unique in Germany—of committed university departments, outstanding museums and an internationally renowned academy of fine arts.

The degree “Master of Arts” (MA) is jointly awarded by Goethe-University and the Städelschule; respective competencies acquired will be certified by a “Diploma supplement”. Curatorial Studies – Theorie – Geschichte – Kritik will give admission to a subject-specific doctorate and the program is taught in German and English. Proficiency in English is expected.

Annual admission of between 12 and 15 students ensures a small and intensive research experience in specially arranged seminars and events.

During the first year, students are in constant contact with the cooperating museums. University seminars provide an opportunity for the participants to extend their expertise. Furthermore, criteria and categories of art criticism as well as academic principles of art theory and aesthetics will be discussed. A course module on the history of the museum and exhibitions complements the program. A two-month-long internship, preferably resulting in the collaboration on an exhibition project, offers insight into the curatorial departments of a museum or exhibition institution. During the second and the third semester, each class creates a curatorial project in cooperation with university lecturers and the museums in Frankfurt. It is the students’ task to develop and realize a project within a given frame. Fundamental to the second year is the development of the master’s thesis, and in-depth work on object-related approaches combined with theoretical inquiry.

Application requirements
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree with a minimum of 6 semesters in art history, archaeology, art education, philosophy, ethnology or history. Fine art graduates may also apply. International students need a DSH-2 certificate.

Applications must be sent in two copies (in one envelope) by May 31 2019 (postmark), and include a single-page statement of purpose (SoP), résumé (CV) as well as copies of relevant certificates to the following address:

Curatorial Studies – Theorie – Geschichte – Kritik, Kunstgeschichtliches Institut der Goethe-Universität, Senckenberganlage 31, 60325 Frankfurt

Please also send your application via email (one PDF file) to the following address: kuratierenundkritik [​at​]

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Goethe University Frankfurt
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