From 2011 to 2017 the teams of a total of 35 German museums joint forces with international guest curators to put innovative museological ideas into practice. A résumé of the International Museum Fellowship programme by Dr Marie Haff, Head of the programme (2011 bis 2017).
The Federal Cultural Foundation’s International Museum Fellowship programme offered museums and public collections in Germany the opportunity to hire young, top-level foreign researchers and curators to work at their organizations.
The goal of the fellowship programme was to encourage museums in Germany to internationalise their themes, working methods and orientation, and to explore new forms of presentation and cooperation. The programme also aimed to improve intercultural competence within the museums themselves, as well as strengthen international networks between scientists, curators and museologists.
For the fellows – outstanding young researchers and curators who already had initial working experience – this programme offered them the chance to gain further professional experience at a German museum during 18 months, become acquainted with the latest scientific and methodological developments in his/her field in Germany, and establish contacts to colleagues and institutional partners for possible international joint ventures in the future. The fellowship holder has been overseen a project under the supervision of a mentor, who works in a responsible position at the museum. Applying her or his relevant expertise, the fellowship holder carried out independently the project related to the main areas of the museum’s exhibition, research and collection activities.
The Federal Cultural Foundation established an event series of its own titled Fellow Me!, a mobile academy which accompanied and presented the activities of the fellows and their respective museums. The programme staged workshops, symposiums and excursions at different museum venues. The academy series aimed to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange and discussion on the processes of change in the museum sector.
The Federal Cultural Foundation has allocated 6.5 million euros to fund the International Museum Fellowship from 2011 to 2017.
From 2015–2017 the jury included the following members:
- Katia Baudin, Deputy director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne
- Dr. Peter-René Becker, Director of the Landesmuseum für Natur und Mensch Oldenburg
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Schulze, Director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg
- Susanne Titz, Director of the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach
- Prof. Thomas Weski, Curator of the Stiftung für Fotografie und Medienkunst with "Archive Michael Schmidt", Berlin (former professor of “Cultures of the Curatorial” post-graduate degree programme at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig)