James Loeb Fellowship

At the beginning of the summer of 2015 Robert Skogstad, the long-standing President of the Harvard Club Munich, invited Dr. Daniel Heinrich and Dr. Elizabeth Petcu (art historian) and former holder of the Samuel H. Kress scholarship at the Central Institute for Art History, to attend our Jamieclub in the Alpenhof, Murnau.

In view of the fact that James Loeb had special links with both Munich and the United States, the two visitors both had the idea of honouring the memory of James Loeb and strengthening the links between the United States and Munich by supporting a scholarship programme. As Vice-President of the Harvard Club Munich, Dr. Heinrich is responsible for scholarships and was thus able to present the idea to the board of the Harvard Club in Munich. Dr. Petcu established contact with Prof. Pfisterer at the Central Institute for Art History (http://www.zikg.eu/). She is currently working as an academic assistant to the Chair for Art History at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. 

On 18 August 2015 representatives of the two societies, the James Loeb Society and the Harvard Club Munich, met at the Central Institute for Art History in order to examine the idea of a cooperation.

It was proposed that a James Loeb Fellowship for the Classical Tradition in Art and Architecture should be created. The scholarship was to be awarded annually to a doctoral student whose thesis topic was concerned in the broadest sense with the transmission of classical antiquity in art and/or architecture. The scholarship would not only recall James Loeb’s study interests at Harvard University and his subsequent life-long commitment on behalf of the culture and art of antiquity. A fellowship of this format would also have a signal effect. In Germany at least there is currently nothing comparable, although opportunities for cooperation are being opened up, for example, with the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Warburg Institute in London.

Other fellowships have indicated that an ideal duration of the scholarship is a period of three months. This would permit the fellows to make intensive use of the resources on the spot and at the same time to take part in the intellectual life of the Central Institute. During these three months each fellow would present his or her subject on one occasion in a colloquium at the Institute as well as taking part in the activities of the Institute.

The selection of the fellows would be carried out by a small committee which would include representatives of the Central Institute for Art History as well as someone from the James Loeb Society and the Harvard Club.

In addition the Central Institute for Art History would stage an annual Loeb Lecture – either a lecture or a guided tour with a prominent guest, to which the members of the Harvard Club and the Loeb Society would be invited. In addition to providing support for young academics, this would enable the society to reach a wide public.

The scholarship should have a long-term perspective; a period of three years was determined for the first test phase.

The fellowship will be financed by the Central Institute for Art History and the Harvard Club Munich; the James Loeb Society will take care of and finance the accommodation of the recipient of the scholarship and the lecturer for the Loeb Lecture. The first recipient of the scholarship, who is from Toronto, will start on 1 May 2016 and will be taken care of at the Central Institute for Art History.

The first Loeb Lecture is planned for the autumn of 2016.