Professors at the University of Göttingen today are the “big bangers”, role models, air rescuers, molecular chefs, trainers of the next generation and messengers of the gods. Life-sized, in casual clothing and with the objects of their research in action, these scientists - three women and three men – allow the public insights into their work.

The current image campaign of the Georgia Augusta creates a new series of scholar portraits, which combine traditional methods of depicting scholars with recent marketing strategies. The uniform black background, the attributes placed in the picture and the titles of the subjects are connecting elements within the series, but also build a bridge to the portraits of professors of the 18th century. Simultaneously, it was the intention of the campaign creators to stage the portrayed individuals as human and as approachable as possible. The professor with a “human touch” is to take the place of the detached scholar.

Today as yesterday, it is the individual who represents whole theories (big bang), research paradigms (molecular research, biodiversity) and disciplines (ancient oriental studies, educational science). Yet again, it is the faces of particular professors of the Georgia Augusta who are used as important resources when it comes to the competitive status of the University, its reputation and the receipt of public funding.


The documentation of the production and post-production process shows exactly how much staging is involved in the photographs. Background and lighting is set up, the staging between photographers and subjects discussed, poses taken and varied. By positioning the camera at eye level, it conveys closeness. The images are viewed and the setting adjusted to get results that will satisfy everyone involved. The ambiguous slogans are developed in cooperation with the individuals portrayed, in conversations before and during the shootings as well as during the image selection process. The composition of the motifs as well as the aesthetic fine-tuning happens during the post-production process. Montages are created and the text elements are positioned in the poster layout. The campaign is run by the Media Relations and Marketing Office of the University in cooperation with the Klein and Neumann agency.

„Das neue Image des Gelehrten. Die Marketing-Kampagne der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen” a paper (in German language) written by Monika Hawrylewicz (PDF)

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