Emeritus Professors

Professor Peter Vergo

Position in departmentEmeritus Professor
Telephone01206 872200

Peter Vergo is a leading expert on modern German and Austrian art. His exhibition Vienna 1900 was the centrepiece of the 1983 Edinburgh Festival and led to the award of the Golden Order of Merit by the Republic of Austria for services to Austrian art. Other exhibitions he has curated include Abstraction: Towards a New Art (Tate) and Emil Nolde (Whitechapel Art Gallery and Arken, Copenhagen). As editor of the anthology The New Museology (1989) he launched a controversial debate about the role of museums in society. His other books include Art in Vienna 1898-1918 (new edition scheduled for publication in spring 2015), Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art and The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Twentieth-Century German Painting. The first of his two studies of the relationship between music and the visual arts, entitled That Divine Order, was published by Phaidon in 2005; its successor, The Music of Painting (2010), was also published by Phaidon and has now been reissued in paperback. His recent research has focused on early twentieth-century Hungarian art and on the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Egon Schiele. He was Head of the Department of Art History and Theory at Essex until his retirement in 2010.


M.A. (Cambridge), Ph.D. (Cambridge)

Current research

Early twentieth-century Hungarian art

Research interests

German and Austrian art; music and the visual arts; museology.

PublicationsLink to publications for Peter Vergo

Panel chair at the one-day conference 'Edvard Munch: the Promise of Modernity', Tate Modern, October 2012

Keynote speaker at the Blue Rider Centenary Conference, Tate Modern, November 2011

Panel chair at the conference 'Rhythmus - Harmonie - Proportion', Paris-Lodron Universität/Mozarteum Salzburg, March 2010

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