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Hartmut Dorgerloh named General Director of the Humboldt Forum

Press Release

Berlin, 15 May 2018

At today’s meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, presided over by Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Hartmut Dorgerloh was unanimously elected as general director of the Humboldt Forums. Hartmut Dorgerloh has served as the general director of the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) [Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg] and will assume the office of general director of the Humboldt Forum on 1 June 2018. The work of the Steering Committee will end with the appointment of Mr Dorgerloh.

Dorgerloh, who was nominated for the position by Minister of State Grütters after he was proposed by the members of the Steering Committee (Neil MacGregor, Hermann Parzinger and Horst Bredekamp), will serve as general director for a period of five years.

As Grütters commented, “With Hartmut Dorgerloh we welcome a highly qualified cultural manager as general director of the Humboldt Forum. He is both thinker and achiever, someone who is good at getting things done and who can communicate with great eloquence, and he has access to an impressive network of contacts. He has been involved in the project for years and is fully aware of what he is getting into. His experience in directing complex institutions will allow him to continue developing the Humboldt Forum vision and significantly influence the identity of the institution. I am convinced that he is the right choice to transform the Humboldt Forum into a vibrant, brilliant ensemble in the heart of Berlin.”

Hartmut Dorgerloh adds: “From the very beginning, what I found so gripping about the massive Humboldt Forum project was the complex and exciting history of the site. I am delighted to accept the challenge of establishing an entirely new and very special “sanctuary for the arts and sciences” for the twenty-first century, a vibrant setting where people can engage in dialogue. And I am particularly excited that this sanctuary will be set in the very place where not only the Hohenzollern palace but also the East German Palast der Pepublik once stood, in the immediate vicinity of the Museum Island. The model of governance devised by the Steering Committee and enacted by the Board of Trustees offers the best foundations for achieving this goal.”

Prof. Dr. Dorgerloh, who was born in 1962, received a doctorate in art history. He is a curator of monuments and cultural manager and since 2002 has served as the general director of the SPSG. During his many years with the SPSG he has initiated important structural changes and launched two special investment programmes for the Preußische Schlösser und Gärten that rank among Germany’s largest renovation programmes. He is entirely at ease with federal decision-making processes at central government level as well as in the individual states.

Furthermore, Dorgerloh has served as first chairman of the Schlösser und Gärten in Deutschland e. V. and from 2005 to 2010 was the spokesperson for the Konferenz Nationaler Kultureinrichtungen [Conference of National Cultural Institutions]. In adddition, he has cooperated closely on various projects with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) [Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation], Berlin’s Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) [German Historical Museum] as well as a number of museums, cultural institutions and universities in Berlin. Since 2004 he has lectured as an honorary professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and since 2007 has taught regularly at Universität Bern. He was also a scholar at the Getty Research Institute in the United States. On the international stage, Dorgerloh maintains an extensive network thanks to his many years as president of the International Council of Museum’s International Committee for Historic House Museums and the Association des Résidences Royales Européennes (ARRE).

When the Humboldt Forum opens its doors in late 2019 it will mark the establishment of a whole new cultural quarter in the very heart of Berlin. By bringing together outstanding collections containing major exhibits – among them spiritual objects and artworks from Asia, Africa and America – and coupling these with a variety of cultural activities, the Humboldt Forum is seeking to inspire new insights into the worlds of the past, present and future. The participating actors are the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) with the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kulturprojekte Berlin with Stadtmuseum Berlin, and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss taking on a leading role. The Humboldt Forum has already developed a highly visible presence throughout Berlin with its diverse programme of exhibitions, discussions, performances, workshops, films and artistic interventions.

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