Master of Arts Program in
CURATORIAL AND CRITICAL STUDIES
Two-year Master of Arts Program by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Academy of Fine Arts – Staedelschule in cooperation with Staedel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Museum MMK fuer Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, 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.
Start: Wintersemester 2023/24
Application deadline: May 31th 2023
The main focus of this Master of Arts ProgramCuratorial 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.
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. 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.
Curatorial Students’ Project:
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.
The master’s thesis consists of the theoretical and methodical substantiation of a curatorial and critical project, yet there is no set format. A scholarly text is obligatory in each case. One part of the master’s thesis may be submitted in a different format, for example an exhibition concept or a documentation of an exhibition.
The degree “Master of Arts” (MA) is being jointly awarded by Goethe-University and the Staedelschule; respective competencies acquired will be certified by a “Diploma supplement”.
The Master of Arts Program Curatorial Studies – Theorie –Geschichte –Kritik creates the opportunity for admission to a subject-specific doctorate.
Teaching Staff and Lecturers:
Staff includes university teachers at Goethe-University and the Staedelschule as well as directors and curators of the Staedel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, the Museum MMK fuer Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Weltkulturen Museum and the PORTIKUS. Additional experts will be brought in for individual events and projects. The program is taught in German and English. Proficiency in English is expected.
Number of Students:
Annual admission of between 12 and 15 students ensures a small and intensive research experience in specially arranged seminars and events.
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 do need a DSH-2 Certificate.
Applications must be sent in two fold (in one envelope!) by June 15th 2020 (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
Please also send your application via email (one PDF File!) to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on the program and the application process is available on our website
Curatorial Studies Seminar im/ at MUSEUM MMK in Frankfurt, 2020 © Photo: Sonja PaladeOpenining of the Classproject THREE COURSE MENU at fffriedrich, 2022 © Photo: Esra Klein