Jean Marie Carey

I am an art historian, writer, researcher, and biographical zooarchaeologist. My work is organised around Franz Marc and images of animals. This pursuit has flowed into other avenues of inquiry. My next project will take me back to the land of the ice and snow. 

My PhD in Art History and German is from the University of Otago, where I wrote my dissertation, How Franz Marc Returns. In addition to my doctoral scholarship I was supported with a fellowship at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, by several European Commission Mobility Erasmus+ grants through the Tier-Mensch-Gesellschaft at Universität Kassel, and by the Centre for Digital Humanities at Universität Trier. I have a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and an MA and BA in Art History from the University of South Florida.

Fellowships in 2018 at the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for the Study of German Expressionism at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou gave me the opportunity to closely study the print and graphic work of Der Blaue Reiter. This research has supported what has become an interesting and important provenance research project centered upon Marc’s woodblock prints Schöpfungsgeschichte II (1914) and Geburt der Pferde (1913). In 2019, my article Raubkunst at the Ringling was published and was recognised by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe and the Lost Art Database at the Freie Universität Berlin as the conclusive solution to the case of the two Marc prints. More recently I have begun a sort of experiment using Hal Foster’s ideas about parallax and Nachträglichkeit as applied theory.

Love for and curiosity about animals is the constant of my life, and that force is what drove me initially to pursue an interdisciplinary study of ethology, empathy, and activism, using the aesthetically pleasing, confounding, and touching images of animals made by Franz Marc at the beginning of the 20th Century as a platform and fulcrum. However, my earlier professional background is in investigative journalism, and as soon as I began to seriously assess primary archival sources about Franz Marc, I realised that despite his seeming omnipresence in the canon of German Modernism, Marc’s real story was almost completely unknown.

I continue to combine animal studies with Marc in an effort to honour and illuminate both, and to produce and provoke new questions, and hopefully a few answers. Realising that, given the state of things, this is probably better accomplished by going back rather than forward, in fall 2021 I began a postdoctoral researcher position at the Universitet i Stavanger Arkeologisk Museum, examining representations of animals and utopia. 



Franz Marc. »Das Tier in der Kunst.« Art History. Animals.

This website is devoted to my research on Classical Modernism’s integrative personality, Franz Marc, but like the artist, writer, ethologist, and pantheist it contains many other passions and projects. Here you will find information about Franz Marc of course but also art and literary criticism, and links to my publications and activities. A Projects section brings attention to some notable working happening in art history, archaeology, and animal studies. Michelangelost™, the latest incarnation of the long-running blog, is here also.

This photograph of Franz Marc was taken by his brother Paul in the spring of 1914 at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. I wrote about discovering this photo for Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, where it was first published. The image in the  background is a detail of the Paradies mural made by Marc and August Macke in Macke’s Bonn’s atelier in 1912.

„Ich sah das Bild, das in den Augen des Teichhuhns sich bricht, wenn es untertaucht: die tausend Ringe, die jedes kleine Leben einfassen, das Blau der flüsternden Himmel, das der See trinkt, das verzückte Auftauchen an einem andern Ort, – erkennt, meine Freunde, was Bilder sind: das Auftauchen an einem anderen Ort.“

Die 100 Aphorismen (82), 1915.

“I saw what the moorhen sees as it dives: the thousand rings that encircle each little life, the blue of the whispering sky swallowed by the lake, the enraptured moment of surfacing in another place. Know, my friends, what images are: the experience of surfacing in another place.”


Contact me with questions about Franz Marc, art history, real and representational animals, or provenance and authentication research: jeanmarie punkt carey at symbol protonmail punkt ch

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This timeline in German and English is about art history and animals. Now that Twitter is X and probably won’t Xist for much longer, I have mirror accounts on Bluesky and Mastadon.