Institut für Kunstgeschichte

Ältere Kunstgeschichte

M.A. Stefanie Lenk

Wissenschaftliche Assistentin

Abteilung für Ältere Kunstgeschichte

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Institut für Kunstgeschichte
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CH-3012 Bern

Stefanie Lenk is a researcher at the Institute of Art History at the University of Bern. Before coming to Switzerland, Stefanie worked at the British Museum in London as curator for the Empires of Faith research project, and wrote a dissertation in history of art at the University of Oxford. In her thesis, she asks what non-Christian imagery and architecture in Mediterranean baptisteries can tell us about processes of Christian identity formation in late antiquity.

Stefanie was the lead-curator of the exhibition Imagining the Divine. Art and the Rise of World Religions (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 10/2017-2/2018) that showed parallels, differences and interconnections in the development of early Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish imagery in the first millennium. She is one of the five authors of Images of Mithra (OUP, 2017) which follows different visual emanations of the ancient deity Mithra from France to Afghanistan, stressing the impact of local factors for this global religious and artistic phenomenon.

Stefanie starts her time at Global Horizons with writing a book on nonconformist baptismal art in the late antique Mediterranean. In a collaborative research project, she compares physical reuse of religious imagery and architecture in Eurasia and North Africa together with colleagues working on ancient Rome and India. She is also researching for a book on the history of 19th century Protestant theologians invested in material culture and pre-modern Christian art.

Book publications

Jas’ Elsner, Stefanie Lenk, et. al., Imagining the Divine. Art and the Rise of World Religions (Exhibition catalogue, Ashmolean Museum, 19 October 2017-18 February 2018). 2017, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Philippa Adrych, Robert Bracey, Dominic Dalglish, Stefanie Lenk, Rachel Wood, Images of Mithra. 2017, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Stefanie Lenk, SUBLIME | Martha Parsey – Marc Fromm (Exhibition Catalogue, Kunstverein Wilhelmshöhe, 21 September - 27 October 2013). 2013, Kunstverein Wilhelmshöhe, Ettlingen


Stefanie Lenk, Iberian Christians and the classical past – The baptistery of Milreu/Estói (Algarve) at the end of late antiquity, in: Horst Bredekamp, Stefan Trinks (eds.), Transformatio et continuatio: forms of change and constancy of antiquity in the Iberian peninsula 500-1500. 2017, De Gruyter, New York

Stefanie Lenk, Ferdinand Piper’s “Monumentale Theologie” (1867) and Schleiermacher’s legacy – The Attempted Foundation of a Protestant Theology of Art, in: Jas’ Elsner (ed.), Art and religion from India to Ireland. Historiographic trends in the study of the 1st Millennium. 2019, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (forthcoming)

Stefanie Lenk, Merging University Museum and Volksbildung – The Curatorial Strategies of Berlin’s Museum für Meereskunde in 1900, in: Kathleen Davidson, Molly Duggins (eds.), Sea Currents in Nineteenth-Century Art, Science and Culture. 2019, Bloomsbury, London (forthcoming)