Peter Probst

Peter Probst

(617) 627-2939
11 Talbot Avenue
Research/Areas of Interest: Art and Anthropology, African Art and Visual Culture, Museum and Heritage Studies, Institutional Theories, Historiography


  • Habilitation, University of Bayreuth, Germany, 2001
  • Dr. phil., Free University of Berlin, Germany, 1990
  • M.Phil., Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1984
  • M.A., Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 1983


I work at the intersection of art history, anthropology, and museum studies with a particular focus on the arts of Global Africa.

My most recent book projects are driven by changes in the field. Three books are underway. The first one is under contract with the University of Chicago Press and addresses the shifting meanings and debates around the notion of African art. It asks how the study of African art has changed since its inception in the late 19th century. The answer is a story about the making, remaking, and unmaking of African art as a field of study. The second book is under contract with Getty Publications and results from a fellowship and conference at the Getty Institute in Los Angeles on art and anthropology. Co-edited with Joseph Imorde from the Kunsthochschue Weissensee in Berlin / Germany, the volume interrogates the complex relationship of art history and anthropology during the entangled periods of modernism and colonialism. The third project results from a conference in Accra, Ghana. Co-edited with Ray Silverman and George Abungu, the volume explores the role of African national museums in the context of the current debates on restitution and decolonization. The volume came out in 2021 with Routledge.

I am currently starting a new project on the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.