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What’s the point of art? Does beauty have a purpose? What kind of space does art need? Is there a truth in images? Those who are involved in the fine arts inevitably encounter such questions. They are absolutely essential for understanding art even though they are rarely discussed in daily exhibition work. The national network project Philosophy:Art 2009-2011 aimed to support institutional art education by exploring and clarifying these and related key questions of art philosophy between autumn 2009 and summer 2011. The Federal Cultural Foundation has launched this network together with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Chair of Philosophy IV, Prof. Julian Nida-Rümelin) in cooperation with five museums in Germany.
Neues Museum in Nuremberg
The first network partner was the Neues Museum in Nuremberg, where the entire project began on 22 October 2009. The monthly lecture series “Aesthetic values vs. mere purpose in art and design“, which run until February 2010, focused on the philosophical and design-theoretical issues related to the important collections of free and applied art, and highlighted the museum’s spatially and thematically interwoven presentation concept.
Sprengel Museum in Hannover
The Sprengel Museum in Hannover held a conference titled, “Context Architecture – Function and Representation in Museum Architecture” on 27 March 2010. Renowned for its world-famous “Merzbau” and in view of its planned expansion, the museum offered participants the opportunity to expand on Kurt Schwitter’s definition of art as a process and social space of experience.
Staatliches Museum Schwerin
At a conference on 13 June 2010, the Staatliches Museum in Schwerin invited participants to discuss the question: “Does an original have something that even the best copy doesn’t possess?” Philosophers, art scholars, exhibition makers and legal experts examined the essential differences between originals and copies.
Villa Stuck in Munich
In January 2011 the Villa Stuck in Munich held a symposium on the predominant thematic complex of art in media. The symposium particularly focused on issues regarding suitable criteria for interpretation and the task of art education through media.
Kunstmuseum in Bonn
The fifth and last event in this two-year joint project took place in summer 2011 in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Bonn. The event examined various image media and their relationship to reality in connection with a photography exhibition.
Prof. Dr. Julian Nida-Rümelin and Prof. Dr. Jakob Steinbrenner
Chair of Philosophy IV, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich