Bénédicte Savoy, born on May 22, 1972 in Paris, has held a full professorship (W3) in the Department of Art History at the Technische Universität Berlin since 2009, where she currently serves as the head of the Chair for Modern Art History/Art History as Cultural History. Formerly a student in the Department of Humanities at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris/Fontenay, she received her M.A. in German Studies from the Université Paris 8 in 1994 and her Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Michel Espagne (CNRS Paris) in 2000.
She has published widely on topics related to her three main fields of research, art and the transfer of culture in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, museum and collection history, and art theft and looted art. Her most important books include: Patrimoine annexé. Les biens culturels saisis par la France en Allemagne autour de 1800 (Paris, 2003), Nofretete, eine deutsch-französische Affäre, 1913‑1931 (Köln/Weimar/Wien, 2011), Vom Faustkeil zur Handgranate. Filmpropaganda für die Berliner Museen. 1934-1939 (Köln/Weimar/Wien, 2014), Tempel der Kunst. Die Geburt des öffentlichen Museums in Deutschland. 1701–1815 (Köln, 2015), Dictionnaire des historiens de l’art allemands (with Michel Espagne) (Paris, 2010), Pariser Lehrjahre. Ein Lexikon zur Ausbildung deutscher Maler in Paris. Band 1: 1793-1843 and Band 2: 1844-1870 (with France Nerlich) (Berlin, 2013 and 2015), Les frères Humboldt. L’Europe de l’Esprit. Exhibition catalogue (with David Blankenstein) (Paris, 2014), Napoleon und Europa, Traum und Trauma. Exhibition catalogue(München, 2010), and Museumsvisionen. Der Wettbewerb zur Erweiterung der Berliner Museumsinsel 1883/84 (with Nikolaus Bernau, Hans-Dieter Nägelke) (Kiel, 2015).
She has also co-curated three exhibitions: “Napoleon und Europa. Traum und Trauma” at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, (with Yann Potin) (2010), “Les frères Humboldt. L’Europe de l’Esprit” at Observatoire de Paris (PSL), Paris (with David Blankenstein) (2014), and “Museumsvisionen. Der Wettbewerb zur Erweiterung der Berliner Museumsinsel 1883/84” at Bauakademie Berlin (with Hans-Dieter Nägelke and Nikolaus Bernau) (2015).
She was a lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin in the Department of Roman Philology (1997-2001) and at the Technische Universität Berlin in the Department of Art History (1999-2001). She was also a research assistant at the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin (1997-2001) and then at the Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Etudes et de Recherches sur l’Allemagne (CIERA/EHESS), Paris (2001-2002). Beginning in 2003, she was a junior professor in the Department of Art History at the Technische Universität Berlin until she received her full professorship in 2009; and from 2007-2012, she served as the department head of the Department of Art History at that university. She was also a visiting professor at the Collège de France, Paris in March 2015. From 2013-2016, she was advising professor of the German National Academic Foundation.
Savoy was a member of the "Young Academy" (Die Junge Akademie) at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2007-2012). She was awarded the Walter-de-Gruyter-Prize by the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2009), the Richard Hamann Prize for Art History by the Philipps Universität Marburg (2011), the Knight of the National Order of Merit, France (2013), the Prize for excellent teaching by the Society of Friends of the Technical University Berlin (2014), the Prix de l’Académie de Berlin and the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises by the Académie française (both in 2015). And in 2016, she was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
She has also served on many commissions of trust including as a: member of the Board of Trustees (Stiftungsrat) of the Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) (2012-present), member of the Academic Advisory Board (wissenschaftlicher Beirat) of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten), Berlin/Potsdam (2013-2016), member of the Scientific Advisory Board (Fachbeirat) for the German Tentative List of UNESCO-World Heritage Sites, Kulturstiftung der Länder, Berlin (2013-2014), member of the Academic Advisory Board (wissenschaftlicher Beirat) of the Germanisches Nationalmuseums (GNM), Nürnberg (2014-2016), member of the international team of experts to advise the founding directorate of the Humboldt Forum Berlin (2015-present), member of the Conseil Scientifique du Musée du Louvre, Paris (2015-present), member of the funding committee für the Lost Art Foundation (Förderbeirat Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste), Magdeburg (2015-present), member of the Kuratorium Deusches Museum, München (2016-present), and as a member of the Kuratorium of the Genshagener Kreis e.V. Berlin (2016).