№ 83/2008 from Apr 09, 2008
Essen, April 9, 2008. – Freie Universität Berlin is the first university in Germany to establish a professorship devoted to African art, its history, and influence in Europe and worldwide. During the first five years, the new chair at the Art History Institute of the Department of History and Cultural Studies will be endowed with 1.65 million euros from the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation in Essen.
Today in Essen, the chairperson of the board of trustees of the foundation, Berthold Beitz, and the First Vice President of Freie Universität, Ursula Lehmkuhl, signed an agreement regarding the establishment of the professorship. At this time Berthold Beitz elucidated the foundation's objectives in connection with its donation. "The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation Chair will for the first time provide the means for a university in Germany to carry out independent teaching and research on African art. It is intended that the cultural independence of African art and its significance for modernity be taken into account." The city of Berlin with its important art historical and ethnographic collections is an excellent location for educating young scholars and carrying out art historical research.
Dieter Lenzen, president of Freie Universität Berlin, views the funding from the Krupp foundation "as support for our interest in developing and expanding the discipline of art history at Freie Universität toward a global art history. In addition, the endowed chair will contribute toward focusing more attention on the continent that will play an important role in the future of Europe."
The appointment process for the new professorship and a junior professorship will begin soon.