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New monograph by Jo Ziebritzki



2 July 2021

“Why are there no great women art historians?” To answer such provocative question,
GPTS doctoral candidate
Jo Ziebritzki digs into the art historiography of the past decades in her book "
Stella Kramrisch: Kunsthistorikerin zwischen Europa & Indien. Ein Beitrag zur Depatriarchalisierung der Kunstgeschichte"("Stella Kramrisch: Art Historian between Europe and India. A Contribution to the Depatriarchalization of Art History"). The aim of the monograph, with a foreword by 
Monica Juneja (HCTS Chair of Global Art History), is twofold: to make Stella Kramrisch’s (1896–1993) life and work accessible to art historians interested in tracing the role of women in the discipline, and, using the case of Kramrisch as a point of departure, to highlight the discipline’s transcultural dimension and ultimately move towards its depatriarchalization.


In 1920s-1940s Europe, Stella Kramrisch was a sought-after expert of Indian art, arguing for the autonomous artistic value of Indian architecture, sculpture, and painting. After graduating from Vienna University in 1919, Kramrisch taught at various universities in Bengal, India, while maintaining close ties with European intellectuals. Collaborations with the Vienna Institute for Art History, Springer's Handbook of Art History, the German life reform movement, and the Warburg Institute enabled her to spread her ideas through influential exhibitions and publications. Why, then, do art historians know so little of this dancer between cultures and keenly observant, poetically versed writer? Although the misogynist, patriarchal structures that underpin historical writing is surely one reason, Jo Ziebritzki’s study brings to the fore other factors accountable for these circumstances, such as forced migrations and changes in research trends.


The book was awarded the
2021 Jutta Held Award by the
Central Institute for Art History in Munich (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Münich). The prize, which honours the memory of Jutta Held (1933-2007)—one of the first female professors of art history—supports early career research in art history with a socio-political focus. The award ceremony will take place online on December 1, 2021, as detailed


Jo Ziebritzki is a doctoral candidate in
Global Art History at the HCTS and a member of the 
GPTS-11 (2019–2022). She is a founding member of the DFG network "
Wege - Methoden - Kritiken: Kunsthistorikerinnen 1880-1970" and of the research group with the same name at the
Ulmer Verein. From 2013 to 2017, she was co-editor of "Reciprocal Turn: Platform for Art Theory and Artistic Practice" and a member of the
Feminist Collective FAK. Her current doctoral project is titled "
The Concept of Art. The Writing of Indian Art History (1910-1950): A Transcultural Historiography."