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.
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.
Interview | Jonathan Fine’s path from a childhood in New York to being appointed director general of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museumsverband has taken some twists. We sit down with him to discuss his plans for the future of the institution @KHM_Wien https://t.co/ZyLwcz2k47
— The Art Newspaper (@TheArtNewspaper) July 6, 2023
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?
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.”
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.
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