Deborah Klimburg-Salter

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Deborah Klimburg-Salter is an art historian and emeritus professor for non-European art history at the Department of Art History of the University of Vienna. She is also director of the research platform "Center for Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asia (CIRDIS)",[1] director of the National Research Network (NFN) "The Cultural History of the Western Himalaya (CHWH)"[2] financed by the Austrian Science Fund and dedicated to transdisciplinary research on the Western Himalayan region.


Klimburg-Salter received her PhD from Harvard University in 1976 and her Habilitation from the University of Vienna in 1989.[3]

She has been Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin and at Magdalen College, Oxford University. She has served as visiting professor in various institutes: in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2007 at the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford (where she has been visiting associate since 2006), and also in 2007 at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. She was the 2009–2010 Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College.[4] Since 1996, she is professor for non-European art history at the Department of Art History of the University of Vienna.[3]

She has been a member of the UNESCO’s International Coordinating Committee for Cultural Heritage Afghanistan since 2003, and furthermore in the framework of the NFN she directs a joint program between the Kabul Museum and University of Vienna and has been member of the Executive Committee of the Nako Preservation Project.[5] Furthermore, she is Research Director for the Giuseppe Tucci Photographic Archive and is guest curator for the Tucci Tibetan collections (MNAO).

Her work has involved extensive field work and writing on the art and archaeology of Afghanistan, of Northern India and of Tibet. In 2007 she was awarded the “Austrian of the Year 2007 – Science” Award for her extraordinary achievements.[6]


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