Thomas W. Gaehtgens (born June 24, 1940 in Leipzig) is a German art historian with special interest in French and German art and art history from the 18th to the 20th century. He was the founding director of the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris (Centre Allemand d'Histoire de l'Art de Paris; German Center for the History of Art, Paris) and was director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California.
Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017 it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
The Getty Research Institute (GRI), located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, is "dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts".
In 1966, Gaehtgens completed his Ph.D. dissertation on the French Renaissance sculptor, Germain Pilon, at the University of Bonn. In 1972 he published his Habilitationsschrift about Joseph-Marie Vien at the University of Göttingen. For some years he worked as an adjunct professor at the Art History Seminar of this university. From 1979 to 1980, he spent some research time at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. From 1980 until his retirement in 2006 he was Professor of Art History at the Free University of Berlin.
Germain Pilon was a French Renaissance sculptor.
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. It was founded in its present form as the Rhein University on 18 October 1818 by Frederick William III, as the linear successor of the Kurkölnische Akademie Bonn which was founded in 1777. The University of Bonn offers a large number of undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of subjects and has 544 professors and 32,500 students. Its library holds more than five million volumes.
Joseph-Marie Vien, French painter, was born at Montpellier. He was the last holder of the post of Premier peintre du Roi, serving from 1789 to 1791.
Soon after his appointment to Berlin's University, Gaehtgens began turning his attention to pre-twentieth-century American art, which was not a primary field for art historians at German universities at that time. In 1985–86 he was a visiting scholar with the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. In 1988, this led to a major exhibition of American 18th- and 19th-century painting in Germany. In 1992, Gaehtgens took over the organization of the Twenty-Eighth International Congress of the History of Art in Berlin. From 1992 to 1996, Gaehtgens was president of the Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA), which is supported by the Association of Art Historians.In 1997, he founded, with German, French, and Swiss colleagues, the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris (Centre Allemand d'Histoire de l'Art de Paris), which organizes conferences, symposia, and workshops, undertakes research projects, and has published many books on art. From 1998 to 1999 he was Chaire européenne at the Collège de France. In 2004, he received an honorary doctorate at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
The Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA) is an international committee that endeavors to improve art historical research.
The Association of Art Historians (AAH) promotes the professional practice and public understanding of art history. It was formed in 1974, is based in London, England, and is a registered charity.
The Collège de France, founded in 1530, is a higher education and research establishment in France. It is located in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne.
In November 2007, he was appointed director of the Getty Research Institute (GRI) in Los Angeles, California.According to the late James N. Wood, formerly president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, "Thomas Gaehtgens is uniquely qualified to serve as director of the Getty Research Institute. His contributions to our appreciation and understanding of the visual arts through his own scholarship, his creation of opportunities for others, and his realization of a wide range of publications, combined with his international experience and network of colleagues, assure the continuing dynamism of the GRI and promises new opportunities for its exceptional staff."
James Nowell Wood was an American museum director who spent 25 years as head of the Art Institute of Chicago and later served as head of the J. Paul Getty Trust, starting in 2006.
The J. Paul Getty Trust is one of world's wealthiest art institutions with an estimated endowment in 2017 of $US 6.9 billion. Based in Los Angeles, California, it operates the J. Paul Getty Museum, which has two locations, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles, California. Its other programs are the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute.
In 2009, Gaehtgens received the Grand prix de la francophonie of the Académie françaiseand in 2011 an honorary doctorate from the Paris-Sorbonne University. In 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Grand Prix de la francophonie is presented annually by the Académie française at the initiative of the Canadian Government to a personality who contributes to the development of the French language throughout the world.
The Académie française is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored as a division of the Institut de France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the institute.
Paris-Sorbonne University was a public research university in Paris, France, active from 1971 to 2017. It was the main inheritor of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Paris. In 2018, it was merged with Pierre and Marie Curie University and some smaller entities to forming a new university called Sorbonne University.
In 2009, he published the first issue of the Getty Research Journal, which features the work of established and emerging art historians, museum curators, and conservators around the world as part of the Getty's mission to promote critical thinking in the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world's artistic legacy.In 2011/2012, he co-curated Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980, a scholarly collaboration of artists, curators, critics and over 60 cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together for six months to produce exhibitions that told the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world.
According to James Cuno, "Professor Gaehtgens is a committed internationalist, at home in German, French, and English, with students and scholar colleagues around the world sharing his internationalist values and joining him on research and professional projects that advance our common understanding of our world's shared artistic legacy."Gaehtgens retired from his position at the Getty in 2018.
Thomas Gaehtgens is married to Barbara Gaehtgens, an art historian specializing in Dutch and French 17th century art. They have two children.
Max Dvořák was a Czech-born Austrian art historian. He was a professor of art history at the University of Vienna and a famous member of the Vienna School of Art History, employing a "Geistesgeschichte" methodology.
Richard Krautheimer was a 20th-century art historian, architectural historian, Baroque scholar, and Byzantinist.
Hans Kauffmann was a German art historian.
The Vienna School of Art History was the development of fundamental art-historical methods at the University of Vienna. This school was not actually a dogmatically unified group, but rather an intellectual evolution extending over a number of generations, in which a series of outstanding scholars each built upon the achievements of their forerunners, while contributing their own unique perspectives. Essential elements of this evolution became fundamental for modern art history, even if the individual methods can today no longer claim absolute validity.
The Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Germany between 1475/1480 and 1510. Despite his anonymity, he is one of the most recognizable artists of the early Renaissance period in German art.
Horst Möller is a German contemporary historian. He is Professor of Modern History at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) and, from 1992 to 2011, Director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte.
Werner Spies is a German art historian, journalist and organizer of exhibitions. From 1997 to 2000, he was also a director of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. According to Klaus Albrecht Schröder, director of the Albertina, Vienna, Spies is "one of the most influential art historians of the 20th century."
Horst Bredekamp is a German art historian.
Julius Alwin Franz Georg Andreas Ritter von Schlosser was an Austrian art historian and an important member of the Vienna School of Art History. According to Ernst Gombrich, he was "One of the most distinguished personalities of art history".
Herman Grimm was a German academic and writer.
Antje (-Maria) von Graevenitz, born Ludwig is a German art historian, art critic, educator and author.
Ludwig Heinrich Heydenreich was a German art historian specialized in Italian Renaissance art. From 1947 to 1970, he served as director of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich.
Willibald Sauerländer was a German art historian specializing in Medieval French sculpture. From 1970 to 1989, he was director of the prestigious Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich.
Kurt Badt was a German art historian.
Herbert von Einem was a German art historian.
Werner Hofmann was an Austrian art historian, cultural journalist, writer, curator and museum director, who is "considered by his colleagues as one of the most distinguished European scholars of modern art and its ideology."
Heinrich Richard Hamann was a German art historian.
Edmund Hildebrandt was a German art historian.
Alfred Scharf was a German-born British art historian.
Branchwork or branch tracery is a type of architectural ornament often used in late Gothic architecture and the Northern Renaissance, consisting of knobbly, intertwined and leafless branches. Branchwork was particularly widespread in Central European art between 1480 and 1520 and can be found in all media. The intellectual origin of branchwork lies in theories in Renaissance humanism about the origins of architecture in natural forms and barely-treated natural materials.