Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.
The Klassik Stiftung Weimar regularly organises professional seminars on provenance research for its volunteer trainees.
Provenance research represents an essential task in the portfolio of museums, libraries or archives, as it serves to reconstruct the history of their collections and holdings. It investigates the origin, or provenance, of paintings, books, autographs or other items by determining how they found their way into the collection. Who were the previous owners? Did they donate the piece? Was it purchased or auctioned off? When and under what circumstances was the piece acquired, and what price was paid?
The purpose of these seminars is to provide volunteer trainees conceptual, praxis- and collection-oriented insights into this research field and highlight the specific issues and problems related to it. What clues in paintings, books, manuscripts or other items could lead a provenance researcher to suspect that they may have been seized as a result of Nazi persecution? How does one substantiate or disprove such a suspicion, what material traces on the object are significant, what other sources and research possibilities are available, what are the requirements for documenting one’s research findings? What is the legal basis and what historical developments play a role? How does one go about finding the rightful heirs and negotiating restitution? And finally, how is the relatively young field of provenance research on Nazi-confiscated cultural assets anchored at universities and institutions? What advanced training and funding opportunities exist?
The last training seminar was held on 24-26 October 2018.