FSP Historische Bildkulturen


The research program Historical Image Cultures investigates the conditions of origin, differentiation, change and interdependence of image cultures. Scholars from all disciplines and career levels are offered a forum for professional exchange and networking, critical reflection and methodological discussion.

Reseach in art history, visual culture studies and Bildwissenschaft has revealed the interdependence of visual perception and pictorial artefacts. The investigation of significant differences in pictorial design led to the recognition of a spatio-temporal coexistence of different cultures, each with its own collectively binding ideas and intentions but also ways of seeing and forms of communication in relation to pictorial works.

Following this framework, the research program Historical Image Cultures will examine the socio-cultural causes and conditions of the differentiation, change and decay of image cultures. Of particular interest are the underlying economies, local traditions and social practices in their significance for the shaping and perception of pictorial works. In addition, interdependencies and exchange processes of spatially adjoining pictorial cultures will come into view. The focus here is not only on the symbolic and materially productive adaptation effects but also on the communicative challenges posed by the transfer of images.

Access to one of the largest historic collections in Europe alongside its connected modern specialist humanities library provides optimal working conditions. Additionally, the library has an extensive collection of graphic sheets, portraits, maps and leaflets from the 15th to 19th centuries, which provide in-depth insights into European pictorial history.

The research area Historical Image Cultures sees itself as an extension and subject-specific focus of the existing research opportunities at the Herzog August Bibliothek. Suitable young researchers can receive support in applying for scholarships and project funding.

In the first phase, the focus will be on the spatial and personal interdependencies of pictorial cultures and the resulting conflicts.



November 15-20 2019, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

Kick off meeting with project partners of the research program Historical Image Cultures 

Project Partners

Dr. Wolfgang Brückle, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Arts and Design

PD. Dr. Robert Felfe,  Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Department of Art History

Prof. Dr. Victoria von Flemming, Braunschweig University of Art, Institute of Art History

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Müller, Technical University of Dresden, Department of Art History

Dr. Thomas Rahn, Free University of Berlin, Institute of German and Dutch Languages and Literatures

Prof. Dr. Anna Schreurs-Morét, University of Freiburg, Institute of Art History

Prof. Dr. Michael Thimann, University of Göttingen, Institute of Art History

Prof. Dr. Claus Zittel, University of Stuttgart, Institut of Literary Studies/Stuttgart Research Centre for Text Studies