Projects in Progress

ARTICLES

Documentation of Medieval Architecture in the Early Work of Franz Kugler, 1829-1840

This article examines Kugler’s working method, focusing on his use of primary and secondary sources and ways of documenting medieval architecture in text and image. It analyzes notes and drawings in Kugler’s Nachlass in the Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, and his early publications, including numerous reviews of current literature published in his journal Museum: Blätter für bildende Kunst. Kugler’s work is placed in the larger context of what was then the interdisciplinary but rapidly specializing study of medieval history, literature, and art. His notes, drawings, and publications are shown to both follow and advance conventions established in this field since about 1800.

 

Architectural History in the Architecture Academy: Wilhelm Stier

Part three in a series with my earlier articles on Art History in the University, this article examines the history of the Bauakademie in Berlin and the place of architectural history in successive administrative and curricular reforms from the founding in 1799 to 1848. Like the earlier articles, it examines the training and career of the principal teacher of architectural history from 1828 to 1856, Wilhelm Stier (1799-1856). It draws on Stier’s extensive but little studied Nachlass in the Architekturmuseum of the Technische Universität and administrative documents in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv.

 

BOOK PROJECT

Franz Kugler and the Making of Art History: Surveying a New Field

This book will provide a critical-historical study of one of the first surveys of world art, Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte (1842) and its author, Franz Kugler. The “making of art history” refers to Kugler’s own way of making, or doing, art history and to his still under-appreciated role in the formation of the discipline in the 1830s and 1840s. “Surveying a new field” picks up the mapping metaphor employed by Kugler and signals the important, but barely acknowledged, role of surveys in the definition of disciplinary objects of study in the early nineteenth century. The book seeks to correct the overemphasis, especially in Anglo-American scholarship, on the ostensible role of Hegel in the “birth” of art history. It situates Kugler’s work in the rich ferment of disciplines in formation after 1800, where it was more closely tied to, and drew mostly from, philology, archaeology, and history. The approach is interdisciplinary and contextual-historical and seeks to avoid the anachronistic projection of current disciplinary boundaries back onto the past. The argument is founded on close readings of primary source texts, both printed and archival, and on research in the history of universities and other disciplines.