At the presentation ceremony on 5 July, Professor Cuno conferred an honourary degree on Professor Thomas Gaehtgens

'Thomas Gaehtgens is Germany’s foremost scholar of French art. Not only has he written numerous influential books and articles on French painting, sculpture, architecture, and cultural politics, but for decades has taught the history of French art in Germany and France, and in 1997, with German, French, and Swiss colleagues founded the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, of which he is the director.

Noting that the German state had long supported the study of Italian art, with the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, Professor Gaehtgens persuaded the German Ministry of Education and Research to support the founding of a centre in Paris for the promotion of German research on French art and French research on German art. He then raised additional support from private German foundations for fellowships and publications, and in 1999 the centre was given three important research libraries to dramatically enhance its holdings in primary research materials.

Every year, the centre organizes conferences, symposia, and workshops, and undertakes research projects. In just the last four years the Centre has published thirteen books and has five more in the press. In every respect, the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art is a model for the Courtauld as we embark on our own research centre. We are honoured that Professor Gaehtgens has agreed to serve on our Research Forum’s international advisory board.

We honour Professor Gaehtgens with the Courtauld’s highest academic honour, above all for his career-long commitment to teaching, research, and international exchange of the highest quality and for his service to and leadership of our profession during his chairmanship of the International Congress of the History of Art and Presidency of the International Committee for the History of Art.

Professor Gaehtgens is a committed internationalist, at home in German, French, and English, with students and scholar colleagues around the world sharing his internationalist values and joining him on research and professional projects that advance our common understanding of our world’s shared artistic legacy.’

Prof. James Cuno