PREP – German-American Provenance Research Exchange Program for Museum Professionals 2017-2019


The German-American exchange program PREP was established by the SPK and the Smithsonian Institution to foster the formation of networks between provenance researchers in both countries.

PREP stands for German-American Provenance Research Exchange Program for Museum Professionals. The program is geared towards museum professionals from Germany and the United States involved in provenance research, particularly as it applies to art theft and looting during the National Socialist era. The primary goal is the establishment of a professional network. Thematically, the program will include an increased focus on Asian art, applied arts, and prints and other works on paper, thus expanding the scope of previous Nazi-Era provenance research. PREP is primarily funded by the German Program for Transatlantic Encounters, and also by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

The program is addressed to professionals working in museums and research institutions, above all scholars, curators, and provenance researchers, but also archivists, attorneys, and digital humanities specialists. Doctoral students and curatorial assistants are also invited to take part in the exchange program.

Along with the organizers, the Smithsonian Institution and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, a group of partners also support PREP. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte Munich. The newly founded Deutsche Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (DZK) will serve in an advisory capacity.

From 2017 to 2019 these partners will organize six week-long conferences in their respective cities including workshops, tours, and public events (New York – Berlin in 2017; Los Angeles – Munich in 2018; Washington DC – Dresden in 2019). At each conference PREP will offer a public program providing information on provenance research in German and American museums. In 2017 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (5–10 February 2017) and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (24–29 September 2017) will organize this program.

The application form for the exchange program can be found on the Smithsonian Institution's website. Applications for 2017 should be submitted by 18 November 2016. More information on the program can be found at the website of the Zentralarchiv.