The journal 21: Inquiries into Art, History, and the Visual – Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte und visuellen Kultur was launched in September 2019 with the aim of establishing a new forum for art history. This forum embraces the full range of diverse objects, questions, and methodologies that comprise and enrich the discipline. In parallel with this openness in subject matter, 21: Inquiries will be available online as an Open-Access-eJournal, making it freely accessible to the widest possible audience.
The choice of the title indicates the intent of the editors – Beate Fricke, Ursula Frohne, Karen Lang, Karin Leonhard, Avinoam Shalem and Michael F. Zimmermann – to expand the boundaries of traditional art history by integrating all methodologies and subject matter related to images and visual phenomena around the globe. The journal seeks to publish methodologically and theoretically rigorous contributions that can claim a relevance for their topic beyond exemplary single-case studies.
All contributions (except reviews and debates) will be double-blind peer reviewed. The multilingual aspect of art history and visual studies will be reflected in the multiple languages in which the journal is published: contributions are welcome in English, German, French, and Italian. In our reviews section, we strongly encourage reviews of exhibitions and books in languages that differ from the original.
21: Inquiries into Art, History, and the Visual – Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte und visuellen Kultur is available from early summer 2020 as an Open-Access-eJournal („Gold“) in cooperation with the digital art history resource arthistoricum.net (sponsored by the German Research Foundation, DFG) and with technical support from Heidelberg University Library. Issues of the journal will appear quarterly. These will be available at no cost through the eJournals platform of arthistoricum.net. A newsletter will inform readers about forthcoming issues. The journal will also be available as a hard copy (information on subscription and rates can be found online).
21: Inquiries is co-edited by art historians based in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and is advised and supported by a specialist international advisory board. While founding the new journal, we have received incredible support – financially, technically, strategically, and intellectually. We are especially thankful for the support of Maria Effinger, Frank Krabbes, Bettina Müller und Daniela Wolf (Heidelberg University Library), Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Bern, Matthias Egger (Swiss National Science Foundation), Daniel Hürlimann (University of St. Gallen) and the Ellen J. Beer-Foundation (Bern).
Our vision to design a layout and a special font (just for the journal) that works equally well on a computer screen, a tablet, a smartphone, and in the print (-on-demand) version has been wonderfully realized by Kaj Lehmann (https://kajlehmann.ch/, Zürich) – we would like to express our deep gratitude to him. Kaj Lehmann and Malte Bentzen drew inspiration for the invention of this new font from Nicolas Jenson (d. 1480 in Venice). Together with Kaj Lehmann and the team at Heidelberg we have been reflecting on what we can learn from the introduction of movable letters and printing in the Tangut era and in 15th century Europe. Looking into the past to invent an expanded future for publishing in art history has helped us to find solutions for the profound changes that our discipline is currently experiencing.
Katharina Böhmer, managing editor since September 2019, together with the team in Bern (Amélie Joller, Leonie Singer, and Sasha Rossman) as well as our copy-editor Jonathan Hoare have worked on realizing the new journal with precision and great energy. For regular updates, follow us on Twitter, visit our homepage, or subscribe to our newsletter.
The editors look forward to your future support for this endeavor to establish an international Open-Access-eJournal of the highest quality for the discipline of art history. We look very much forward to receiving your submissions and manuscripts. We ask you to help us by reading the journal with critical attention, and are grateful for your feedback and suggestions.
Beate Fricke, Ursula Frohne, Karen Lang, Karin Leonhard, Avinoam Shalem and Michael F. Zimmermann.