An international network of scientists and museum experts will support the general director and may later form an academic advisory board for the Humboldt Forum. Working closely with all actors in the Humboldt Forum, the orientation and the interaction of the collections and ideas, as well as structural aspects should thus be bundled and further promoted.
“I’m most passionate about engaging with people, with communities, listening to various voices, and making sense of them… this interaction with people, whether or not they agree with me, is something profoundly important.”
George Abungu is an archaeologist from Kenya, and former director of the National Museums of Kenya. As Chairman of the International Standing Committee on the Traffic of Illicit Antiquities, he has been responsible for the return of stolen artefacts to Kenya and the curtailing of the illegal antiquities trade. Since 2002 he has been the owner and director of Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants. Photo: Peter Pulkowski
“Much of the art that we most value is just profoundly not national: In Paris, the Spanish painter Picasso was inspired by a Vili mask from the Congo, shown to him at the home of the American Gertrude Stein. That circulation is essential to the life of the kind of art we care about, the arts we care about. It's essential, of course, to literature as well.”
Kwame Anthony Appiah is a Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University (NYU). His research focuses on African and Afro-American intellectual history, ethics, political philosophy, and cultural theory. He has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and lectured for institutions around the world. In January 2014, he joined NYU School of Law, where he teaches in New York, Abu Dhabi, and other NYU global centers.
“The organizing of research and exhibition projects in different disciplines with both students and experts is what most inspires me in my work.”
Rita Eder is an art historian from Mexico and Vice-President of the International Committee for Art History. As Director of the Institute of Art History at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico), she has been committed to the internationalization, renewal and modernization of the discipline.
“I’m most passionate about questioning and critiquing the established hegemonic cultural categories in the academic and curatorial practices of South Asian art in order to explore alternative configurations from a contemporary perspective.”
Jyotindra Jain is an art historian and cultural historian from India. He is the former director of the National Crafts Museums in New Delhi. He has been particularly focused on breaking down the distinctions between “art” and “handicraft” and between “high” and “popular” culture.
“In my work, I’m driven by the boundless aesthetic enjoyment inspired by even the simplest and smallest things.”
Chor-Lin Lee is a historian from Singapore and an expert on Asian art. As the former director of the National Museum of Singapore and the former CEO of the Art House Limited Singapore, she strives to bring multifaceted and experimental art projects to a diverse audience.
“By working with other collections and other academics, the close link between nature and culture becomes clear. The collections form the basis for an understanding of the interdependence of the world and allow us, in keeping with Humboldt's ap-proach, to imagine and understand the world as a whole.”
Neil MacGregor is an art historian from Great Britain. He served as director of the National Gallery and the British Museum in London. There he presented among other things the series, "A History of the World in 100 Objects", accompanied by a corresponding exhibition and publication. In 2014, he curated the exhibition, "Germany – Memories of a Nation". From 2015 until 2018 he chaired the Humboldt Forum's steering committee.
“Thinking about the public sphere through diverse collections is what drives my work.”
Natalia Majluf is an art historian from Peru. As director of the Lima Museum of Art, she aims to bring the cultural legacy of her country to all social groups. For Majluf, the museum has a duty to educate, and is essential for young people’s development.
„I have always been profoundly motivated by the notion of creating exhibitions that reach a wide cross-section of society… exhibitions that are both powerful, legible and transformative. A museum that can address both its audience and time will forever be a worthy cause.“
Nazan Ölçer is an ethnologist from Turkey, and since 2003 the president of the Sakıp Sabancı Museums in Istanbul. She has had a long career as a museum director, in which she strives to establish connections between East and West with great enthusiasm.
“In my work, I am most passionate about presenting both the uniqueness of Chinese art, but also its connection to a broader global context.”
Wei Hu is an art historian and artist from China who combines scholarly research with artistic expression. His art seeks to build bridges with the past, and is well known for its representations of nature in soft tones. Wei Hu is a professor of art theory and Chinese art history at the Tongji University in Shanghai.