“Beauty provides an opportunity to bond individuals in a moment of ultimate meaning.”

Justine Kolata is the founder of The Public Sphere Salons, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the revival of salon culture and the art of group conversation. The project is inspired by the salons of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe. Her work explores the conception of the ‘beautiful soul’ in the philosophy of Goethe and Schiller.

In 2023, Kolata published her book In Pursuit of the Beautiful Soul: The Philosophy of the Beautiful Soul, Salon Culture and the Art of Creating a Beautiful Life, which offers a solution to the paralysing soullessness of modern life and explores the aesthetic and ethical merits of self-cultivation.