Art History and Aesthetics

The University of Kassel's degree programme in Art History and Aesthetics is based in the Kunsthochschule, an ensemble of buildings constructed in the 1960s, which directly adjoins the baroque Karlsaue Park. The integration of the Kunsthochschule into Kassel's cultural landscape, which is unique in Germany, holds out the promise of a diverse and practically oriented study of art history. The cultural environment is characterized both by Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, recently included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and by the Fridericianum as the main exhibition venue for contemporary art. Added to this, there is documenta, the quinquennial exhibition of contemporary art, which guarantees direct access to the current global world of art. The neighbourly relationship of historical cultural assets to current art production in Kassel is also reflected, within the Kunsthochschule, in the interaction between Art History and Aesthetics and the degree programmes in Visual Arts, Visual Communication and Product Design. Students showing initiative benefit not only from the proximity to the artist studios and workshops of the Kunsthochschule, but can also become actively involved in Hessen Kassel Heritage and obtain an insight into practical professional fields.

The degree programme in Art History and Aesthetics at Kassel covers, with its four professorships in Art History and Philosophy, a broad field of knowledge transfer and research, which is enriched by collaborations with the University of Kassel's other humanities degree courses. It affords an opportunity for studying in a personal atmosphere, in which each individual is given his or her own space and receives personal supervision during his or her academic activities. The range of the study programme is additionally completed by tutorials directly in front of original works of art in Kassel museums and by the regular programme of field trips to international art centres. Project seminars also provide early practical experience in designing minor exhibitions or web presences.

The wide selection of libraries in Kassel offers students diverse working conditions. The departmental libraries of the University Library, the documenta archive as a special library for art in the 20th century and contemporary art, the Wilhelmshöhe Museum Library, with its extensive literature exchange with other museums throughout the world, and the city of Kassel's State and Murhard Libraries, with a prominent manuscript department, are all within easy reach. The neighbouring art history library of the University of Göttingen with its historical collection supplements this offering.