Jonathan Fine Ascends to Director General of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum

Discover how American art historian Jonathan Fine, current director of the Weltmuseum, is set to become Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum’s new general director, succeeding Sabine Haag.

American art historian Jonathan Fine is set to succeed Sabine Haag as the Director General of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, managing three major museums from 2025.
Fine’s rich expertise in African art, coupled with his background in law, and a deep understanding of modern museum challenges, positioned him as the top candidate for the role.
Fine's proactive leadership in recommending a restitutions committee underlines his commitment to addressing issues regarding objects in national museums that have a colonial context.

From the Weltmuseum to Kunsthistorisches Museum: The Journey of Jonathan Fine

Hello, culture vultures and art aficionados! Have you heard the big news shaking up the Vienna art scene? Our own Jonathan Fine, a respected American art historian, has earned a well-deserved promotion. Currently steering the ship at the Weltmuseum in Vienna, Fine is poised to take the helm as the Director General of the Kunsthistorisches Museumsverband, come 2025.

Fine’s Unique Qualifications Secured the Coveted Position

Fine, having led the Weltmuseum since July 2021, impressed a rigorous five-member selection committee, outperforming 19 other strong contenders. His impressive track record, complete with a unique blend of art history and legal expertise, couldn’t be ignored.

From the 1st of January, 2025, Fine will be juggling responsibilities across three major Viennese museums, including his current abode, the Weltmuseum, the prestigious Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the distinguished Austrian Theatre Museum. Quite the multitasker, isn’t he?

Celebrating A Vision for Modern Museums

What really stands out about Fine is not just his deep understanding of the crucial challenges contemporary museums face, but his eagerness to tackle them head-on. Our Culture Minister, Andrea Mayer, couldn’t agree more. She asserts, “Fine embodies the very essence of a modern museum concept – one that doesn’t shy away from probing social questions, all the while not losing sight of its intrinsic duties.”

Delving into Fine’s Storied Past and Artistic Expertise

Interestingly, Fine’s journey to the top is rather unconventional. His career took flight in the corridors of law, specializing in international commercial disputes, constitutional law, and human rights. Imagine going from navigating complex legal labyrinths to immersing in the enchanting world of art!

Besides his extensive background in law, Fine’s expertise shines brightly in the field of African art. As a matter of fact, he formerly headed collections at Berlin’s Ethnological Museum, which adds another feather in his already impressive cap.

Recently, he spearheaded an expert commission that proposed recommendations to the Austrian government about establishing a restitutions committee. This body is intended to address claims for artifacts in national museums, acquired in a colonial context, reflecting Fine’s commitment to ensuring justice and transparency in the museum sector.

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters is a seasoned news journalist with over two years of experience in the field. Known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis, Marilyn has covered significant global events with an objective lens. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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