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The Academy mourns the loss of Prof. Almut Krapf-Weiler

Almut Krapf-Weiler worked at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1978 to 2008, most recently as Ao. University Professor of Art History.

"The woman in art studies", to quote just one title of her numerous and fundamental texts, was herself. It was with great sadness that we learned of the untimely death of our long-time colleague Almut.

She was already an art historian at the Academy when our institute didn't even exist and knew this institution with all its developments, craziness and contradictions better than any of us. It was her warm-hearted character, always ready for a joke, that helped us build the Institute of Art and Cultural Studies with an inexhaustible dose of relaxation and humor: Always a smile on her lips paired with a critical look from her alert eyes at the situations and crookedness of some developments. Her vigilance and calmness were always on hand and welcome when we were unsure. She was simply there, without ever making a big fuss about it and yet not wanting to be the center of attention herself.

She not only wrote about the reception of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt's "character heads" in contemporary art, but was also a "character head" herself - with the clear message that you should only criticize what you can love. This love was above all for art and art history, both historical and contemporary - for the sake of a society and science that had forgotten the role of women in it for centuries. The fact that she edited the collected texts of Erica Tietze-Conrat - the "woman in art history" mentioned in the title and the first woman to earn a doctorate in art history at the University of Vienna - reflects her feminist commitment as much as the freedom she took to trace the reception of Messerschmidt's character heads using the example of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Birgit Jürgenssen, Maria Lassnig, Florentina Pakosta, Elke Krystufek and Anna Ceeh.

In the late 1990s, her commitment to equal rights for men and women and against discrimination against women was not only reflected in her academic work, but also in the institutional structures of the academy. The "freshly" installed Federal Equal Treatment Act (1993) was awaiting implementation in the universities. The newly founded Working Group for Equal Treatment Issues had been created as an instrument to ensure that the goals set out in the law were also implemented in the universities. Almut was the third chair of the Academy's working group (1995-2000) and did important pioneering work that subsequent colleagues were able to build on.

Almut was a colleague and scholar who combined her passion for science with a responsibility to correct the prevailing images of history and art history. Dear Almut, your warmth, passion and corrections taught us a lot, we will miss them...and never forget you.  

With deep sorrow and heartfelt condolences,
Your institute