CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Chantal Eschenfelder

Beyond Walls – The Digital Extension of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany
Chantal Eschenfelder, Head of Education and Digital Collection, Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Nowadays, almost all museums and cultural institutions are closely involved in art education from the perspective of developing new audiences. Given the digital transformation of society, however, it has become essential to reflect on ways of translating educational methods and standards to the digital realm. Through its innovative projects, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt seeks to make cultural institutions more accessible to different sections of today’s multifaceted society. Its educational work therefore focuses on presenting the art museum as an active platform for visitors of diverse backgrounds and expectations. But what are the challenges of online education? How can we keep users interested over a long period of time? How does the macrocosm of art align with the new trend of microlearning? And how can we emphasize visual, example-based learning as a way of strengthening users’ powers of perception?
The lecture will take a close look at the digital services that the Städel has developed as part of its larger project of “digital extension,” and explain the motivational and developmental basis underlying its digital strategy. The extension of the educational mandate into the digital sphere encompasses a wide range of initiatives and projects, which can serve as examples for art education and museum strategies. The lecture will also provide exclusive insight into the internal change processes and structures at the heart of this digital transformation. Finally, it will share some valuable experience regarding user feedback and collaboration with external partners.

About Chantal Eschenfelder

Chantal Eschenfelder studied art history, German and American studies. She started her career as a project manager for culture and new media at the European Office of the City of Cologne. Since 2000 she has been employed as a scientific consultant for the Museum Ludwig, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, and the Museum für Angewandte Kunst at the Museum Service Cologne. She was appointed Head of Education at the Städel Museum and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung in 2007, and these duties widened to include the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, in 2011. She sees the process of opening up cultural institutions to all spheres of society as an important aim of her work. One of the forums in which she is currently tackling this issue is the Städel Museum’s digital thinktank. She has also been Head of Digital Collection at Städel Museum since 2013. In 2015, she and her team won the Grimme Online Award for their Monet Digitorial.