CAHIM - Scholarship programme with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck Institute: Connecting Art Histories in the Museum: Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe, 400-1900

Connecting Art Histories in the Museum: Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe, 400-1900 combines academic and museum research with curatorship. Up to six outstanding international young art historians spend one to two years investigating artistic and cultural interactions in the Mediterranean region and Asia, using the objects from the Staatliche Museen’s collections. An important area of their work is taken up with presenting their findings in a museum display.

Set up as a joint project between the KHI and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the innovative fellowship programme focuses on artistic and cultural interactions in the Mediterranean area and Asia, with a focus on the period between 400 and 1650. The scholars study museum objects or groups of objects with the aim of establishing a dialogue between Western, Byzantine, Islamic, Asian, and African art histories. Instead of concentrating exclusively on the objects’ place in the history of pre-modern art or their museological aspects, the research programme is concerned with the modern repercussions and expressions of interactions between diverse historical topographies.

These dynamics are examined in the light of the following questions:

  • How can art-historical research deal with the transfer and exchange of moveable or immoveable cultural heritage?
  • How did museums in the past articulate political and cultural attitudes towards historical sites of the production, accumulation, and translation of artefacts?
  • And how do museums, especially new museums, do this now?
  • How do museum displays evaluate and present the ritualistic and aesthetic dimensions of objects?
  • What possible dynamics exist between objects in the museums that are alien to each other in provenance and historical context?

Museums play a key role in the on-going redefinition of art and art history and their relation to aesthetics, anthropology, and politics in the decentralized, globalized 21st century. With its ‘universal’ collections, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin participates in this process in a particular way, offering a unique opportunity for research using multidisciplinary approaches on artefacts from different cultures and civilizations. International doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers in art history and related disciplines are entitled to apply for the fellowship programme. Fellows also have the chance to provide curatorial assistance on individual exhibitions, as well as contribute to the development of new concepts for exhibition practices. The joint activities of the research group, such as seminars, workshops, excursions, and conferences, allow academic exchange and research collaboration both within and outside the museum.

The Kunstbibliothek, Museum für Islamische Kunst, and Museum für Asiatische Kunst have been involved in the project since 2010, the Ethnologisches Museum since 2014.


Publications on the research findings and and previously published volumes of this series:

Project management

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf, Director of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute
Dr. Hannah Baader, project manager of the Minerva programme, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute
Prof. Dr. Michael Eissenhauer, Director-General, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Dr. Jörg Völlnagel, Head of exhibitions, research, projects, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

The Scholarship programme is supported by the Kuratorium Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Scholarship holders

Dr. Sabiha Göloğlu, Museum für Islamische Kunst
Multi-, Paraline, Perspectival, and Photographic Views: Travelling Images of the Islamic Pilgrimage and Visitation Sites

Dr. des. Regina Höfer, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Mapping Art Collecting and Circulation in the British Empire: The Connoisseur and Dealer L. A. Waddell

Max Koss, M.A., Kunstbibliothek
Printing Objects: Art, Circulation and Reproduction, ca. 1900

Dr. Subhashini Kaligotla, Museum für Asiatische Kunst 
Argument and Ornament in the Architecture of Deccan India 

Dr. Alya Karame, Museum für Islamische Kunst 
The lives of Qur’anic manuscripts from 11th century AD Khurasan: Palimpsests of Religious and Political Meanings 

Bruno Sotto Mayor, M.A., Ethnologisches Museum 
Rethinking /nkishi/ Art History in Central Africa 

Dr. Ning Yao, Museum für Asiatische Kunst 
Reframing Portrait Paintings in Late Imperial China 

Regina Höfer, M.A., Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Waddells koloniale Tibet- und Indien Sammlung im Museum für Asiatische Kunst und dem Ethnologischen Museum, Berlin 

David Horacio Colmenares, M.A., Kunstbibliothek
The Egyptian Conjecture: Material Crossovers in Early Modern Antiquarianism

Aifeng Chen, M.A.,  Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Study on the Avalokiteśvara imagery of Turfan in the Qočo Uighur period

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Vignato, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Survey and Study of the Rock Monasteries of Kucha

Priyani Roy Choudhury, M.A., Museum für Islamische Kunst
The Fashioning of a Mughal City: Fatehpur Sikri

Dr. Ines Konczak, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Kulturaustausch an der nördlichen Seidenstraße im Spiegel der Wandmalereien Kučas (Xinjiang, VR China). Überlieferung und Wandlung der Darstellung materieller Kultur

Dr. Zhihua Liu, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Object, collection and identity: A case study of the decorative object in the studio in Ming dynasty

Dr. Mathias Fubah Alubafi, Ethnologisches Museum
Beyond the Bamum Throne at the Berlin Ethnological Museum 

Dr. Ching-Ling Wang, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
Praying for Ten Thousand Goodness: On Ding Guanpeng’s “The Buddha Preaching” in the Berlin Collection 

Dr. Magdalena Wróblewska, Kunstbibliothek
Between artifacts and their representations. The Rhetorics of Artworks’ Reproductions from the Photographic Collection of Art Library in Berlin

Dr. Satomi Hiyama, Museum für Asiatische Kunst
The Transmission of the Ornamental Motives in the Wall Painting of Central Asia

Dr. Nadia Ali, Museum für Islamische Kunst
Deconstructing the Muslim Self and its Relevance to the Study of Early Islamic Art 

Dr. Amanda Phillips, Museum für Islamische Kunst
Actively Seeking Consumers: Everyday Objects of Islamic Art in their Social-Historical Context

Dr. Eva-Maria Troelenberg, Museum für Islamische Kunst
Mschatta in Berlin. Grundsteine islamischer Kunst

Dr. Friederike Weis, Kunstbibliothek
Prozesse der Bildfindung. Rezeption und Interpretation von Geschichten biblischen Ursprungs in der islamischen Buchmalerei