Art historians are humanities scholars who deal with art history , the historical development of art from different times and peoples. You analyze e.g. B. the peculiarities of art historical epochs and art styles or the life and work of individual artists . To this end, they conduct source studies, document the creation of works of art and the often multi-faceted résumés of artists, interpret their works in terms of form and content. Art historians also publish publications on general art history, art history and aesthetic issues. The main focus is on works of the fine arts , such as architecture , sculpture , painting and graphics , the applied arts , and more recently photography , film and video art and multimedia art ( environment , action art , happening , Fluxus , etc.).
Art historians teach their subject, art history, as lecturers and professors at universities. They are dedicated to museum work, but also to the exhibition of works of art. You collect, maintain and receive traditional works of fine arts , so you work e.g. B. in archives or within monument preservation and monument protection and advise restorers . For the insurance industry, art historians appraise and evaluate antiques and works of art. As a freelance art writer, you write books about art or essays for trade magazines.
The profession of "art historian" requires a scientific degree at a university. The art history studies are completed with the academic degree Bachelor or Master . The old Magister degrees, on the other hand, are rarely awarded. Subsequently, a doctorate as “Dr. phil. ”by the art historian working on a special area of art history in a dissertation .
The magazine Kunstchronik (2/1997) published “Recommendations for the freelance work of art historians” as well as a guide “Art historians and publishers”. For job description "art historian / in" a guide has been published, in collaboration with the Central Institute for Art History in Munich has been revised and contains detailed information on the development of the entire profession. (See also the sheets on vocational studies , published by the Federal Labor Office , 3-XJ02, Nuremberg 1998.)
- Heinrich Dilly (ed.): Old masters of modern art history . Reimer, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-496-00470-3
- Harald Justin : Dance to me Hitler. Art history and (fascist) rule; the development of an idea, exemplified by the theory and practice of prominent art historians under National Socialism. Münster 1982, ISBN 3-88780-450-3
- Wilhelm Waetzoldt: German art historian . Vol. 1: From Sandrart to Rumohr; Vol. 2: From Passavant to Justi. Seemann, Leipzig 1921, 1924. 3. unchanged. Edition Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-89166-039-1 (Vol. 1), ISBN 3-89166-040-5 (Vol. 2)
- Ulrike Wendland: Biographical handbook of German-speaking art historians in exile. Life and work of the scientists persecuted and expelled under National Socialism. Saur, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-598-11339-0 .
- Metzler-Kunsthistoriker-Lexikon . 210 portraits of German-speaking authors from 4 centuries , ed. by Peter Betthausen , Peter H. Feist , Christiane Fork, Stuttgart and Weimar: Metzler, 2nd edition 2007, ISBN 3-476-02183-1
- Martina Sitt (ed.): Art historian on his own behalf. Ten autobiographical sketches , Reimer, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-496-00467-3 .