Special Event Offers Accompanying the 3rd International Day of Provenance Research at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin


On 14 April 2021, the international Day of Provenance Research is taking place for the third time. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is participating – via digital formats (due to the pandemic) that provide insights into the work of provenance researchers from the fields of post-colonial research, European art and archaeology.

Online Event: #FragtDieProvenienzForscher_innen

Under the hashtag #FragtDieProvenienzForscher_innen, on 14 April 2021, provenance researchers from the Zentralarchiv (Central Archive), Staatliche Museen Berlin discuss the diverse perspectives, methods and challenges associated with their fields of research: colonial contexts, cultural assets that changed possession as a result of National Socialist persecution, and the cross-cutting subject of archaeological objects.

The provenance research team wants to make research more transparent and to know what actually interests visitors. In the lead-up to the event, questions were requested via the Twitter channel @PPR_Dahlem. During the event, interested participants will be connected via live chat and can pose their questions.

When? 14 April, 6-7 pm

Where? Webex event with advance registration: provenienzforschung[at]smb.spk-berlin.de

Who’s involved? Panellists: Kristin Weber-Sinn, Sven Haase, Birgit Sporleder / Moderation: Anna Schäfers

Online Exhibition: Spotlight on the Object – LEUTE – ORTE ‒ DINGE (PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS)

The online exhibition “Spotlight on the Object”, a joint project of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, features some of the more tricky and sensitive examples of provenance research while providing insights into the diversity of this discipline. On the platform Virtual Exhibitions in the German Digital Library, 13 authors introduce the biographies of 20 objects in richly illustrated, short texts (in German).

The virtual exhibition invites viewers to discover interesting objects as it illuminates the people and places intertwined with them and to look over the shoulders of provenance researchers as they interpret what are often hidden clues.

Blog Entry on the Move to the Humboldt Forum

Work on the exhibition “Ethnological Collections and Asian Art”, organised by the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum), and the move to the Humboldt Forum are progressing. The fascinating story behind this work can be read in the Staatliche Museen blog’s series on object biographies (in German). This entry turns the spotlight on the provenance of the well-known outrigger canoe from Luf Island in the Pacific Ocean.

New Project on Digital Provenance Research at the Münzkabinett

Since February 2021, the Münzkabinett (Numismatic Collection), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin has been involved in a one-year project funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) that sets out to identify all previous owners and sellers of objects to the museum during the National Socialist period and to provide standard information about them (https://ikmk.smb.museum/ndp). This information is publicly available and is intended to be linked to international and national standard data portals as much as possible. This will allow information to be added and revised across collections and establish whether names appear in different collections and networks. The project is part of a pilot study for the working group on digital provenance research, led by Prof. Dr Meike Hopp (TU Berlin), connected with the formation of a national research data infrastructure (NFDI4objects).

Day of Provenance Research

The Day of Provenance Research is an initiative of the Arbeitskreises Provenienzforschung e. V., which brings together a worldwide network of more than 300 researchers, academics, and other professionals dedicated to researching cultural assets’ origins and background histories.

The hashtag #TagderProvenienzforschung accompanies the special event day on Twitter.