Museum Ulm
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Provenance Research

Provenance Research

Project for the content-related reappraisal of the collections from colonial contexts in the Museum Ulm

The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg supports the Museum Ulm with subsidies with the content-related reappraisal of the holdings from a colonial context. With the state grant, the ministry is creating an impetus to provide the greatest possible transparency with regard to collection items with a colonial connection.

The grant from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the amount of 30,000 euros enabled the partial financing of a temporary project position (September 2021 to December 2022), within the framework of which approximately 220 ethnographic objects were examined that originate i. a. from African countries, from parts of Oceania and Australia, and from Southeast Asia and were created at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century or entered the museum during this period.

The project included systematic indexing and digital inventory as well as research into the provenance and acquisition history of the objects in question.

The objects and project results are published on the platform museum-digital in German and Englisch.

Further information on provenance research and the reappraisal of colonial heritage in Baden-Württemberg can be found at the website of the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts.



Provenance research in the collections of the Museum Ulm on Nazi looted property, funded by the German Center for the Loss of Cultural Property (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste)

For the Museum Ulm, provenance research is an important contribution to the investigation of National Socialism and the crimes committed in that era, as well as to the remembrance of the victims. Human lives and fates are inseparably connected with the loss of cultural assets due to the practice of expropriation and seizure employed by the National Socialists between 1933 and 1945.

The purpose of the research project, which is funded by the German Lost Art Foundation, is the systematic examination of the museum’s holdings to clarify patchy provenances and identify objects that may have found their way into the collection as a direct or indirect result of persecution by the National Socialists, be it through actual confiscation or sale under duress.

The main focus is on objects acquired between 1933 and 1945, either by purchase, donation, exchange, loan, or as bequest, with special attention to acquisitions from art dealers and private individuals. Due to the size of the collection, a systematic expansion of the research to include works acquired after 1945 is only possible in a follow-up project. However, if there is reasonable suspicion in individual cases, these objects are also investigated.

The provenance research at Museum Ulm is funded by the German Lost Art Foundation:

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