The search for a director for the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung is over. The graduated art historian Dr. Philipp Demandt (45) will take charge of the two museums on 1 October 2016. Demandt has been the director of the Alte Nationalgalerie, a museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, since January 2012 and is one of Germany’s most renowned art historians and exhibition curators. He has comprehensive experience with modern culture management.
This decision was preceded by an intensive national and international search carried out by the Städel Museum administration under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Schweickart. Peter Feldmann, the mayor of Frankfurt and chairman of the supervisory board of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Prof. Dr. Felix Semmelroth, the outgoing deputy mayor in charge of culture, and Dr. Ina Hartwig, the designated deputy mayor in charge of culture, welcome the decision.
"We are very happy about the fact that, so soon after Max Hollein’s departure, we have succeeded in recruiting one of the most creative minds in the German museum world to direct the two institutions. As the director of one of Germany’s most prominent museums and a key player in the Berlin museum scene, he has demonstrated his abilities many times over – and is therefore exactly the right person for this major responsibility in Frankfurt", commented Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Schweickart, the chairman of the Städel Museum administration.
Frankfurt’s Mayor Peter Feldmann, the chairman of the supervisory board of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, pointed out: "Frankfurt and Philipp Demandt: a perfect fit. I am delighted that Philipp Demandt has decided to direct the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung. He is an outstanding scholar and art mediator – a museum man of distinction. I am certain that Demandt will make a sustainable and future-oriented contribution to shaping and expanding culture in Frankfurt."
The director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will be decided on by the relevant political bodies after Dr. Ina Hartwig has taken office as Frankfurt’s deputy mayor in charge of culture. Both the mayor and Dr. Hartwig regard the joint direction of the three institutions as a sensible and forward-looking constellation that has hitherto proven highly advantageous for Frankfurt as a city of culture.
"The successful work at the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung in cooperation with all colleagues is a challenge I anticipate with suspense. At the same time, I look back on five fulfilling years at the Nationalgalerie with deep gratitude. I am greatly looking forward to Frankfurt – professionally because it has developed to become one of the most exciting art centres in Germany and beyond, and personally because I have long been well acquainted with the city and the surrounding region", commented Dr. Philipp Demandt on his call to Frankfurt.
Born in Constance in 1971, Demandt studied art history, classical archaeology and media science and gained his doctorate in 2001 at the Institute of History and Cultural Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin with a thesis on the execution and reception of the portraits of Queen Louise by Johann Gottfried Schadow and Christian Daniel Rauch and the historical mythology of the Prussian state as mirrored in the "Queen Louise cult". After serving as exhibition assistant at the Bröhan Museum in 2002, Demandt became a department head with the Kulturstiftung der Länder. There his responsibilities included advising and supporting German culture institutions on the purchase and financing of artworks from pre- and early history to the nineteenth century as well as on exhibition projects. From 2007 to 2010 he also co-curated the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg Prussian exhibition "Louise: Life and Myth of the Queen". He planned and directed the magazine "Arsprototo" published by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, as well as the foundation’s scholarly publication series "Patrimonia", and published numerous articles on the history of art and culture, for example in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Welt.
In January 2012, Demandt was appointed director of the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. There he drew attention to himself with a comprehensive new concept for the display collection and a number of exhibitions that were as innovative as they were successful. Among the highlights of the shows staged under his direction were "Rembrandt Bugatti", "Impressionism – Expressionism: Art at a Turning Point" and, most recently, "The Monk Has Returned", a special presentation on the restoration of Caspar David Friedrich’s masterworks Monk by the Sea and The Abbey in the Oakwood. The Alte Nationalgalerie holds paintings and sculptures dating from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Its collection is part of the Nationalgalerie, which also encompasses the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, the Museum Berggruen and the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg.
In Frankfurt Dr. Philipp Demandt will succeed Max Hollein, who assumed his post as director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) on 1 June 2016.
Axel Braun (Head of Press and Public Relations)
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