BERLIN.- The art historian Philipp Demandt will be taking charge of the Old National Gallery at the beginning of next year.
Born in 1971, Philipp Demandt studied art history, classical archaeology and media studies, gaining his doctorate in 2001 at the Freie Universität's Institute of Historical and Cultural Sciences, here in Berlin, with a thesis on the portraits of the Prussian Queen Luise by Johann Gottfried Schadow and Christian Daniel Rauch. His thesis examined the history of their making and subsequent impact, and the mythology of the Prussian state as reflected in the cult of Queen Luise.
After serving as an exhibition assistant in the Bröhan Museum in 2002, in 2004 Demandt was made departmental head at the Kulturstiftung der Länder, a foundation of the arts, financed by the various states in Germany. One of his tasks here was advising and supporting German cultural institutions in acquiring artworks originating from the 17th to 19th century and helping them with exhibition plans for works from this period. From 2007 to 2010 he was, in addition, scientific advisor to and co-curator of the exhibition 'Luise. Life and Myth of the Queen', organized by the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Demandt was chosen for the job due to the combination of his proven expertise in 19th century art and his extensive practical experience in modern cultural management.
The Old National Gallery was the first of the five museums on the Museum Island to be extensively refurbished and renovated, from 1998 to 2001. It houses paintings and sculptures from the 19th century. Its collection forms part of the National Gallery, which also includes the New National Gallery, the Hamburger Bahnhof, the Museum Berggruen, the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg and the Friedrichswerder Church.