Earlier this year (2016), I completed a three-and-a-half-month Franz Roh Fellowship in Modern and Contemporary Art at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich. The newly established but now annual fellowship is co-hosted by this extramural institute and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU). Apart from the hitherto (for me) unfamiliar pleasure of being ‘paid’ to be a researcher, this opportunity also facilitated a research trip to Ghent and Hamburg to interview Michaël Borremans and to attend the opening of a large Raymond Pettibon retrospective. Both artists’ work significantly informs my PhD.
It has been a privilege to be based in an institution that houses an incredible wealth of art historical research material (over 500,000 volumes, about 1200 current periodicals and plenty of rarissima, as well as a graphzine collection) and thus to be able to chase up almost every footnote immediately and have access to precious artists’ books.
The institute has a lively research atmosphere, with at least two public talks per week, many international scholars (the library is open to art history scholars and a number of foundations sent stipendees every year) and a strong publications record from the staff. LMU runs its own art history lectures, many of which are open to all.
The presentation of a public paper during the fellowship is one of the few formal duties of fellows and felt like a rather welcome opportunity to receive feedback on current work, especially because the in-house approach to art history and visual culture differs significantly from more Anglo-Saxon models.
If you’re interested in doing some work in Bavaria, check out www.zikg.eu. The institute’s opportunities are also regularly posted on HNet-Art History.
As featured in the Manchester School of Art, Research Degree Programme Newsletter Autumn 2016