22 Nov 2012 2:00pm - 6:00pm Alison Richard Building, ground floor, SG1


Humanitas Visiting Professor in the History of Art 2012-13

The Humanitas Chair in the History of Art has been made possible by the generous support of J E Safra.

Professor Philippe de Montebello

(Philippe de Montebello (Director Emeritus, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fiske Kimball Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) will give a series of three public lectures on The Multiple Lives of the Work of Art  and participate in a concluding symposium. 

The lectures and symposium are free to attend but registration is required for the symposium. Please click on the link at the right hand side of the page to see the provisional symposium programme and to register online.

The lectures in this series


About Philippe de Montebello

Mr. de Montebello was born in Paris and received his early education in France. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received a master’s degree in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.  With the exception of four and a half years as director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, he has spent his entire career at the Metropolitan, first as curator in the Department of European Paintings and later as the Museum’s Chief Curator.


In 2008, Philippe de Montebello retired after 31 years as the longest-serving director in the Metropolitan Museum’s 140-year-long history.  Under his leadership the Metropolitan Museum nearly doubled in size, vastly increasing its exhibition space.  The Metropolitan also acquired significant collections and individual masterpieces, mounted acclaimed international loan exhibitions, developed wide-reaching educational programs, and reinstalled much of its permanent collections in new and refurbished galleries. In 2008 the curators of the Metropolitan Museum paid homage to Mr de Montebello’s tenure by mounting an unprecedented tribute exhibition of some 300 works of art that entered the collections under his leadership, The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions

Following his retirement, Mr de Montebello became the first scholar in residence at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and he launched a new academic career as the first Fiske Kimball Professor in the History and Culture of Museums at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University; he is also a special advisor for NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus. Mr. de Montebello is the television co-host with Paula Zahn of the WNET/PBS weekly culture series NYCArts. He also serves as Special Advisor to the Leon Levy Foundation.

Mr. de Montebello was elected in 2008 to the Board of Trustees of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and in 2012 he was elected Honorary Trustee of the Prado Museum in Madrid.

About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and co-ordinated in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professors are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today's society as well as the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors will present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.



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