Detmar Westhoff, Founder & Networking Coordinator of the Summer Academy

Detmar Westhoff is an art historian (Frankfurt University) with many years of expertise as curator and in organising exhibitions. He has worked for internationally renowned art collections as the Schirn Kunsthalle and the K20/K21 Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf and is founder and director of “Westhoff Fine Arts – exhibition services”. For over 15 years, he has initiated, organised and co-curated numerous exhibitions of modern art in Europe and Asia with loans from internationally renowned collections as the Städel in Frankfurt, Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Kunsthaus Zürich and many more. He connects and counsels lenders, collections, institutions and organisations from all over the world. He has been teaching at university in Düsseldorf and Bochum.


Jo Baring, Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art

Jo Baring is the Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art, one of the UK’s most significant art collections. In 2016 she launched The Ingram Prize, a leading prize for contemporary artists. She is the co-host of Sculpting Lives, a podcast series on the work of women sculptors. A former director at Christie’s, she is a trustee of arts charities the Artists Collecting Society & ArtCan and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Rebecca Davies, founding partner of Southern and Partners

Rebecca Davies is founding partner of Southern & Partners artist management agency. Prior to this she has held senior management roles at contemporary galleries Marian Goodman Gallery, Haunch of Venison and Blain Southern. From 2014-2017 she was Chief Executive of LAPADA, the UK’s largest trade association for art and antique dealers.

Prof. Dr. Robert Fleck, Professor and Prorector at the Art Academy Düsseldorf

Robert Fleck is a historian, author and curator. In 1981 he moved to Paris, where he studied with Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. From 2004 to 2008 he was director of the Deichtorhallen – House of Photography and Contemporary Art in Hamburg, from 2008 to 2012 director of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn and is now professor for “Art and the Public” and Vice-Rector of the Art Academy Düsseldorf.

Felix Krämer, General & Artistic Director of Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

He started as independent / free curator for Hamburger Kunsthalle in 2000 and then became assistant, curator and referent of the director there. In parallel he organised exhibitions for the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Afterwards he became director of the collection of Modern art at the Städel Museum (2008-2017) where he was responsible for the new presentation of the collection of modern art in 2011. In 2013 he was awarded with the decoration Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Dr. Mag. Diethard Leopold, Curator and Collector

Diethard Leopold grew up in Rudolf and Elisabeth Leopold’s collector’s house. After studying German, theology and psychology, he taught at universities in Japan in the 80s and 90s. Since 2008 he does curatorial work at the Leopold Museum, setting up several large exhibitions, in particular “Vienna 1900” and the special presentation of the Egon Schiele part in the Leopold Museum, and has also published many writings on Schiele, Gerstl, Vienna 1900 and the Leopold Collection. From 2010 to 2015 he was a member of the board of the Leopold Museum Private Foundation, from 2009 to 2021 President of the Austro-Japanese Society, then Honorary President. In 2019 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his intercultural merits.

Dr. Thomas Marks, former Editor of Apollo Magazine

Thomas Marks is a writer and critic who was Editor of Apollo magazine from 2013–21. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Warburg Institute in London, researching the history of museums, and is a trustee of Art UK, the cultural education charity that exists to democratise access to public collections through digitisation and storytelling.

Prof. Dr. Franz Pichorner, Deputy Director-General of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Prof. Dr. Franz Pichorner studied history, art history and German studies at the University of Vienna (Dr. phil.). He was research assistant at the University of Vienna (1987-1995) and then director of the Liaison Office of EU Commissioner Dr. Franz Fischler. Since 1998 he is Secretary General at the Kunsthistorisches Museum and also Director of Archives and Publications, in 2010 he has been promoted Deputy Director-General. He is responsible for exhibitions from the KHM in Asia (e.g. Treasures of the Habsburg Monarchy at the NACT). Numerous publications on the history of the Habsburg Empire from the 18th to the 20th century and on the history of museums.

Thomas Rieger, Director of the Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf

Thomas Rieger started his career as curator at the Stiftung Haus der Geschichte in Bonn, followed by a position as curator at the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum in Hagen and vice-director at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Since 2005 he is co-director of the Approximation Festival in Düsseldorf and since 2017 is Board Member of the Art Institutions of the 21st Century Foundation.

Thomas Ruff, Photography Artist 

Thomas Ruff studied photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and has become one of the most renowned contemporary photography artists in the world. His works can be found in many international institutional collections. In 1995 he represented Germany together with Katharina Fritsch and Martin Honert at the 46th Venice Biennale. Later he became professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2000-2005). Among his solo shows in international renowned institutions are exhibitions in the Whitechapel Gallery (2017), the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa & in the National Museum of Modern Art Tokio, Japan (2016-2017) and Kunstsammlung NRW (2020-2021). He has been elected member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts in 2021.

Hans-Ewald Schneider, Managing Partner at Hasenkamp Internationale Kunsttransporte GmbH

Hans-Ewald Schneider developed the company based in Cologne to become a global leader of art logistics and one of the world’s most renowned art shipping companies with branch offices all over the world. As an owner-managed family company in the 5th generation (founded in 1903), Hasenkamp knows what it means to make economically sustainable and forward-looking decisions. Among their most exceptional projects was the transport to the “The World Between Empires” (art from Jordan) in the MET and the Tutankhamun seven-year world tour.

Thomas Schütte, Artist

Thomas Schütte is a German contemporary artist who focuses on sculpture, architectural designs and drawings. Among his numerous solo shows are exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries, London (2012), Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2003), Dia Art Foundation, New York (1998-2000), ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1990) etc. In 2007 he made a Model for a Hotel for the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square. The numerous awards he has received include the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennial (2005) and Düsseldorf Prize (2010).

Charles Saumarez Smith, former Chief Executive of the Royal Academy

Sir Charles Saumarez Smith CBE is a British cultural historian specialising in the history of art, design and architecture. He was the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts in London until 2018 and former Director of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. He has recently published The Art Museum in Modern Times exploring contemporary museums world wide, considering how our experience of art is impacted by the buildings that house it.

Gerhard Steidl, Editor 

For over 50 years, Gerhard Steidl combines the roles of printer and publisher with high perfectionism in his own publishing and printing house in Göttingen, founded in 1968. Himself a master of the traditional printing craft, he is specialised in Art Books and special editions for which he gained worldwide reputation, and most famous artists and authors have worked with him, among them Beuys, Günther Grass and Karl Lagerfeld. His collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, who named Steidl “best printer in the world”, led Steidl also to exhibition design. He curated the Lagerfeld photo shows together with Eric Pfrunder, for example at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence (2016), the 18Gallery, Shanghai (2011) or Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle (2020).

Christian Utz, Founder and Director of the MUCA (Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art)

Together with his wife Stephanie, Christian Utz founded today’s MUCA in 2016 – Germany’s first museum for urban art, which today is one of the largest collections in Europe in the field of urban art. Since 2003 he is CEO of the Urban Art Organization, a leading independent art agency that acts as placement for artists, assuring the realization of in- and outdoor urban art projects. Their new brand KUNSTLABOR 2 realizes spectacular exhibition series, transforming abandoned property into scenic art culture events which experience high visitor numbers and extraordinary media echo.

Dr. Marianne Wagner, Curator for Contemporary Art, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster

Marianne Wagner is Curator for Contemporary Art and Head of the Skulptur Projekte Archives at the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur. With Kasper König an Britta Peters, she curated the Skulptur Projekte 2017. Her dissertation “Lecture Performance. Speech Acts as Performance Art since 1950” was awarded the Joseph Beuys Research Prize in 2014. She has developed and realized exhibition projects at the Kunstmuseum Thun, the Aargauer Kunsthaus, and the Nidwaldner Museum and has taught at the Universität Bern, the Hochschule der Künste Bern, the Kunstakademie Münster as well as at the Goethe University Frankfurt. From 2017 to 2020, she, jointly with Ursula Frohne, has directed a research project about the Skulptur Projekte Archives, supported by the VolkswagenStiftung and carried out in cooperation with the University of Münster.

Moritz Wesseler, Director of the Fridericianum, Kassel

After a traineeship at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Thomas Wesseler became artistic director of Fürstenberg Contemporary in Donaueschingen and Heiligenberg. In 2013 he was appointed director of Kölnischer Kunstverein. In 2018 he had been appointed director of the Fridericianum, which was the world’s first building designed as a public museum and which is since 1955 a permanent exhibition location of the Documenta (beneath other varying exhibition spaces in Kassel or other countries).

Rein Wolfs, Director of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Previously Rein Wolfs was artistic director of the Bundeskunsthalle (2013-2019), artistic director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel (2007-2012), exhibition director at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2002-2007), 2003 curator of the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennale and founding director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (1996 to 2001).


Antje Southern, Coordinator London Program

Antje Southern (born in Frankfurt/ Main) is an art historian based in London. Her contextual and curatorial teaching and research interests are informed by working with contemporary artists and curators. She studied Art History at University College and the Warburg Institute in London. Following curatorial internships at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the British Museum, she taught Art History and Connoisseurship at Christie’s Education. Currently she is on the senior faculty at the Royal Drawing School and co-curates the annual student graduate shows as well as exhibitions of faculty artists. At the Prince’s Foundation Diploma Year she is course leader of the interdisciplinary contextual studies programme.  

Dr. Petra Bierwirth, Coordinator Düsseldorf Program

Petra Bierwirth has studied Art History, Philosophy and German Literature at the universities of Marburg, Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and Bonn. While writing her doctoral thesis about Auguste Rodin’s drawings, she was also teaching German in secondary/high schools in France. She has been working as guide for museums, exhibition halls and historic sites (e.g. Stiftung Haus der Geschichte, Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, etc.). Since 2018 she is assistant to the director at Westhoff Fine Arts.