Monday January 13, 2020
Tags for: Gerhard Lutz Appointed Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art
  • Press Release

Gerhard Lutz Appointed Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art

exterior of the CMA building

Cleveland, OH (January 13, 2020) — Following an international search, the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announces the appointment of Gerhard Lutz as Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art. He will assume his responsibilities at the CMA in early May 2020. 

“Gerhard is an impressive scholar with more than twenty years of experience working in museums. His commitment to presenting medieval art to a broad public is reflected in the significance and range of the exhibitions he has curated,” said Director William M. Griswold. “Gerhard has cultivated a robust international network, strengthening relationships among European and North American curators, academics, collectors, and dealers. We look forward to his study and presentation of the museum’s celebrated collection of medieval art.”  

As Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art, Lutz will oversee the care and development of the collection. He will guide and organize special exhibitions and programs exploring all aspects of medieval art. Lutz will work closely with the director and chief curator on the identification and acquisition of artworks to augment the collection.

Since 2002, Lutz has been a curator at the Dommuseum Hildesheim, Germany, one of the finest treasuries to survive from the Middle Ages; in 2016, he was promoted to associate director. At the Dommuseum, Lutz has curated numerous exhibitions, including Turn of Eras 1400: Hildesheim as a European Center (2019); Triumph and Death: Early Crucifixes (2017); and Picture and Beast: Hildesheim Bronzes from the Staufer Period (2008). In 2013, Lutz curated Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim, a major exhibition presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Previously, Lutz was employed at the Romer- und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim and worked on a variety of exhibition projects with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Lutz has most recently been working on an ambitious exhibition project, Islam and the Christian West, 1000–1250, which will open at the Dommuseum in 2022.

Lutz is a prolific scholar and has published extensively in German. Recent publications in English include co-editing with Shirin A. Fozi Christ on the Cross: The Boston Crucifix and the Rise of Monumental Wood Sculpture 970–1200 (forthcoming by Brepols Publishers in spring 2020). Together with Peter Barnet and Michael Brandt, Lutz co-edited the exhibition catalogue Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Yale University Press (2013). Other publications include “The Drop of Blood: Image and Piety in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries,” in Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural, vol. 4, no. 1 (2015); “Late Medieval Sacred Spaces and the Eucharist,” in A Companion to the Eucharist in the Middle Ages, ed. Ian Christopher Levy, Gary Macy, and Kristen Van Ausdall, Leiden/Boston: Brill (2012); “The Choir Screen at Mainz and the ‘Master of Naumburg,’” British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions, Medieval Art and Architecture at Mainz, London: British Archaeological Association (2007). 

Lutz also has extensive teaching experience. He has served as a lecturer at the University of Bern, Switzerland; the Technical University Dresden, Germany; and the Institute of Conservation at the University of Applied Science and Art, Hildesheim, Germany. He was also a visiting professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, during the autumn of 2013 where he taught a course on medieval Hildesheim based on direct observation of objects on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on loan from Hildesheim. 

An interest in bringing academics and museum scholars closer together prompted Lutz to initiate the Forum Medieval Art, a biannual conference for medievalists from different backgrounds, and medieval study days related to special exhibitions or conservation projects. Lutz organized such a study day in Cleveland in 2016, which focused particularly on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Guelph treasure objects that are closely connected with the arts of medieval Hildesheim. In addition, he served as an associate of the board of directors of the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) in 2006–9 and again in 2019–22. 

“The great medieval collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art has been formed by scholarly exchange with Europe, and I am excited to add to this legacy,” says Lutz. “In 1930, the people of Cleveland stood in lines around the block to see the Guelph treasure on display at the museum. I am eager to generate a similar excitement about the museum’s world-class collection among Cleveland’s diverse communities and look forward to getting to know the city’s people and places.” 

Lutz received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the Technical University Berlin. Previously, he studied medieval art history, history and archaeology at the universities of Bamberg, Vienna and Freiburg.

About the CMA Medieval Art Collection

Celebrated for its Early Christian and Byzantine art, the CMA’s medieval collection comprises approximately 1,600 objects produced in continental Europe, the British Isles, and the eastern Mediterranean basin in the period spanning the late 3rd century through the 15th century. The collection consists of works produced in the following periods and cultures: Early Christian, Coptic, Byzantine, Celtic, Migration, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, Gothic, and early Renaissance.  The collection of Western Medieval and Renaissance decorative arts, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, and paintings is among the finest in the United States and is renowned for its importance and artistic quality. The curator of medieval art is also responsible for overseeing the collection of European arms and armor from the 15th to 17th century.

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