Workshop in Provenance Research on East Asian Art on 13–14 October 2017


In the joint workshop ‘Challenges and Desiderata: Provenance Research on East Asian Art’ by the Institut für Kunstwissenschaft und Historische Urbanistik (Institute for Cultural Studies and Urban Historical Studies) at the Technische Universität Berlin and by the Museum für Asiatische Kunst at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, researchers and curators will come together to discuss and assess the current state of provenance research.

The collection at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst will be shown in 2019 at the Humboldt Forum. Across Germany, the focus on provenance research of East Asian objects is increasing. Determining provenance for non-European objects requires a different approach than for works of Western origin, given that their identifying marks, details of production, and acquisition history are fundamentally different from those of other groups of objects. In the workshop, curators, art market experts, and provenance researchers will have the opportunity to meet and exchange information regarding research areas, key people and networks in the trade of these objects, methodology, and sources for provenance research on East Asian art.

Please note: The workshop is already booked out. For coverage of the event, representatives of the media are however able to attend by sending a request to Dr. Christine Howald (c.howald[at]


*All talks are in German unless stated otherwise. *

Friday, 13 October 2017 

10:00: Introduction

  • Christina Haak, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Bénédicte Savoy, Technische Universität Berlin
  • Mayen Beckmann, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst e.V.
  • Leonhard Weidinger, Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V.
  • Christine Howald, Technische Universität Berlin
  • Alexander Hofmann, Museum für Asiatische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

10:30–11:00: Prologue and Genius Loci

  • Klaas Ruitenbeek, Museum für Asiatische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: From Dahlem to Mitte: On the Future Treatment of Acquisitions from China in the Gallery ‘Hofkunst Chinas’, designed by Wang Shu, in the Humboldt Forum

11:30–13:00: Main Areas of Provenance Research

  • Christine Howald, Berlin: Colonial Acquisitions History: China 1860 and 1900
  • Ilse von zur Mühlen, Munich: Nazi-looted Art: Museum Accessions of Chinese Art from So-called ‘Jewish Auctions’ in Berlin 1935
  • Gilbert Lupfer, Dresden: Conditions Surrounding Confiscations in the Soviet-Controlled Sector and GDR
  • Moderation: Bénédicte Savoy, Berlin

14:30–16:00: Actors and Networks in the Trade in East Asian Artefacts

  • Patrizia Jirka-Schmitz, Cologne: The Berlin Market for East Asian Objects (1900-1933)
  • Gabriele Anderl, Vienna: Walter and Anton Exner and the Viennese Market for East Asian Objects (1930-1945)
  • Alexandra von Przychowski, Zürich: Eduard von der Heydt and His Collection of Buddhist Sculptures from China
  • Moderation: Stephanie Tasch, Berlin 

16:30–18:00: Joint Reflection: The Challenges and Desiderata of Provenance Research on East Asian Art

  • Moderation: Christine Howald and Alexander Hofmann, Berlin 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

10:00–11:30: Methodology and Sources: Prospects for the Future and Q&A

  • Leonhard Weidinger, Vienna: Digitization and Examination of Auction, Collection and Exhibition Catalogues on East Asian Artefacts
  • Nathalie Neumann, Berlin: East Asian Artefacts in the Gurlitt Collection – Tracing Objects and Actors
  • Silke Reuther, Hamburg: Well Advised by Friends: The East Asian Collection of Philipp F. Reemtsma
  • Moderation: Laurie Stein, Chicago/Berlin

12:00–13:00: Prospects for the Future and Q&A

  • Laurie Stein Chicago/Berlin: Transnational Prospects in Provenance Research on East Asian Art

The detailed programme (PDF) is available online at:


Museum für Asiatische Kunst

Access (Direktion/Administration)

Takustr. 40, 14195 Berlin