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DHC Lecture by Bénédicte Savoy

Art historian from Technische Universität Berlin to speak on January 10 at Freie Universität on “Out of Africa. Wie afrikanische Objekte in unsere Museen kamen”

№ 005/2019 from Jan 08, 2019

On January 10, 2019, art historian Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy will give a lecture at Freie Universität on the issue of how various items from Africa reached museums of the Western world during European colonialization. A researcher at Technische Universität Berlin and the Collège de France in Paris, Savoy will give a DHC Lecture (in German) organized by the Dahlem Humanities Center of Freie Universität. The event is public, and admission free. Registration is not required.

When the great European colonization began in Africa in the last third of the 19th century, the era of universal museums also began in Europe. At the same time, new technologies (railways, steamboats) were developed that enabled the mass transportation of goods and, at the same time, cultural goods. Through military expeditions, scientific campaigns, and missionary projects, various actors, including adventurers, soldiers, scientists, missionaries, merchants, and diplomats, gathered vast quantities of items that reached Europe’s museums, private collections, and the art trade. This lasted until the 1960s, when many African countries gained their independence. Among other things, her lecture will focus on the history of the collection of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.

Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy was born in 1972 in Paris. She studied German language and literature at the École Normale Supérieure (Fontenay) and received her master’s degree in 1994 with a thesis on the artist Anselm Kiefer. In 2000 she earned her doctorate in Paris as a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure with a thesis on Napoleonic art theft in Germany. From 1998 to 2001 she was a researcher at the Center Marc Bloch in Berlin and a lecturer at Technische Universität Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2003 she has been a professor of modern art history at the Institute of Art History and Historical Urbanism, Technische Universität Berlin. Her fields of research include art theft in a global context, transnational museum history, the art market, and provenance as well as the mobility of artists. In 2016 Bénédicte Savoy was awarded the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG). She is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2016 she was appointed a professor (chaire international) at the Collège de France in Paris.

The Dahlem Humanities Center brings together the unique breadth of humanities research at Freie Universität Berlin. In doing so, it creates a superordinate, interdisciplinary platform of internal and international networking for this wealth of disciplines and activities.

Time and Location

  • Thursday, January 10, 2019, Begin: 6:15 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Lecture Hall 1b, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin; subway station: Dahlem-Dorf or Freie Universität/Thielplatz (U3)

More Information

Maraike Di Domenica, Managing Director, Dahlem Humanities Center, Tel.: +49 30 838-58040, Email: m.domenica@fu-berlin.de