Rudolf Arnheim Visiting Professorship
In May 2000, an agreement was signed by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Bankgesellschaft Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate Foundation to establish a “Rudolf Arnheim Visiting Professorship” within the Art History Seminar at the Humboldt-Universität. The “Rudolf Arnheim Visiting Professorship”, endowed by the DAAD and also supported by the Brandenburg Gate Foundation, was first staffed in the 2000/2001 winter semester.
The visiting professor provides teaching and critical reflection on the art history of the present and addresses students of art history as well as interested students from other fields of study. In addition, the visiting professor organises events for the university and general public with the support of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Brandenburg Gate Foundation, establishes or develops international relations between the subject area of art history and other related disciplines, and seeks contact and collaboration with artists in Berlin and the guests of the Artists-in-Berlin programme.
The holder of the “Rudolf Arnheim visiting professorship” is selected by high-level, interdisciplinary panel members. Foreign scholars and artists working at a university, research institution or museum in their home country strive to be appointed a visiting lecturer.
The contractual partners were delighted to dedicate the visiting professorship to the Emeritus Professor of Art Psychology, Rudolf Arnheim. Born in 1904, Arnheim studied psychology, art history, music history and philosophy in Berlin between 1923 and 1928. He moved to Rome in 1933 and then to England in 1939, before emigrating to the USA in 1940. As a co-founder of Gestalt psychology, Arnheim developed in an unprecedented open way the theory of “visual thinking” and Gestalt as survival strategies . Another significant and paradigmatic move for the Seminar of Art History was also the fact that he dealt with all media, including film. His book “Film as Art” is a film theory classic. Rudolf Arnheim learned about the visiting professorship while living in the USA and was delighted to lend his name to this. He died in 2007.
Rudolf Arnheim’s obituary, written by Prof. Michael Diers, Süddeutsche Zeitung no. 132, 12 June 2007, p. 14 (in German, download PDF file).