Art Historian Juliane Noth Receives ERC Consolidator Grant

European Research Council to provide nearly two million euros in funding for research project at Freie Universität Berlin

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that Juliane Noth, an art historian at Freie Universität Berlin, is the recipient of an ERC Consolidator Grant in the amount of approximately 1.955 million euros. Noth is a professor of East Asian art history at Freie Universität’s Art History Institute and will use the funding for her research project "Art Academies in China: Global Histories and Institutional Practices" (CHINACADEMY). Over the course of the five-year project, she and her team of researchers will study the role of art academies in twentieth-century Chinese art. The European Research Council awards ERC Consolidator Grants to promising scientists and scholars who completed their doctorates between seven and twelve years ago and now find themselves in the "consolidation phase" of their academic careers.

Professor Juliane Noth is an expert in twentieth-century Chinese art and how it was redefined with regard to historical practices and global networks, as well as its relationship to social, political, and institutional contexts. With the support of the European Research Council, Noth will study the role of art academies in establishing modern artistic practices and theoretical debates in China.

At these schools, European methods of art education were introduced. They were sites where the social role of the modern artist and the significance of traditional art forms were defined, Noth explains. It is also possible to trace back political and ideological shifts in artistic practices to these institutions.

Today, Chinese art academies incorporate laboratories of innovation as well as academic curricula inherited from the socialist period. "They are emblematic of the dynamics within the Chinese cultural sphere and society at large," Noth says, adding that the art academies were also shaped by the tensions between rapid globalization on the one hand and the preservation of cultural heritage and national identity discourses on the other. Three schools will serve as case studies in her research: The Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou.

The project will also look at the transnational connections that had a part in shaping Chinese art academies as modern institutions; artistic exchanges with Western European countries, but also with Japan and the Soviet Union are of particular importance here. By investigating these types of connections, the team of researchers hopes to develop new perspectives on global art history. The project is scheduled to start September 1, 2023, at Freie Universität Berlin.

Juliane Noth was appointed to the Freie Universität faculty in October 2021 as a professor of East Asian art history at the Art History Institute. Prior to her appointment at Freie Universität, she was a Heisenberg Fellow at the University of Hamburg’s Art-Historical Seminar, where she led the DFG research project "Artistic Practices during the Cultural Revolution: Actors, Media, Institutions." She has conducted research in China on multiple occasions, in addition to holding the position of research professor at the China Institute for Visual Studies at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou since 2020.

Professor Noth completed her university professorial teaching qualification (Habilitation) at Freie Universität Berlin in 2018. She has also served as a "replacement professor" (Vertretungsprofessorin) for Chinese art history at the University of Heidelberg and was the assistant curator for the exhibition "Tibet - Klöster öffnen ihre Schatzkammern" (Tibet - Cloisters Share Their Treasures) with the Villa Hügel Essen and Museum of Asian Art Berlin. Noth was also a student at Freie Universität Berlin, where she studied art history and Chinese studies.


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