2020 applicants

Professor Peter Vergo

Emeritus Professor
School of Philosophy and Art History
Professor Peter Vergo



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,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

German and Austrian art

music and the visual arts


Current research

Early twentieth-century Hungarian art

Conferences and presentations

Panel chair

Edvard Munch: the Promise of Modernity, London, United Kingdom, 10/2012

Keynote speaker

Keynote presentation, Blue Rider Centenary Conference, London, United Kingdom, 11/2011

Panel chair

Rhythmus - Harmonie - Proportion, 3/2010

Teaching and supervision

Previous supervision

Christopher David Adams
Christopher David Adams
Thesis title: More Alive Than Ever? Futurism in the 1940S
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 20/2/2017




Colchester Campus