CONF: The Future of Collection Histories. Research, Cooperation and Exhibition (Museum Rietberg, Zürich – 2 March 2024)

After almost two years, the exhibition «Pathways of Art» at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, ends on March 24. It is an exhibition that raises questions about the history of the museum and its collections, about our institutional self-image, and in a more general way about researching and presenting objects from non-Western contexts in the Global North. The exhibition is a further step in our ongoing work with object biographies and diverse approaches to collection histories.

On the exhbition’s closing, the museum will look back: What was the impact of the exhibition, what worked well, where would we want to do things differently in the future when dealing with the collection histories? In addition to this critical review, the museum would also like to open up a dialogue and discuss what other approaches to the provenances of objects from non-Western cultures might look like.

In this context, the museum cordially invites you to a one-day symposium that will bring together international curators, scholars and provenance researchers to share their experiences, ongoing projects and new methods from different perspectives, including history, art history, anthropology and law.

The panels, with three speakers each, will focus on four main topics: different approaches towards collection histories, new perspectives and narratives, collaborative projects, and legal aspects of the collections. The discussions will center around questions like: Where do museums go today with their collections? How can institutions be more inclusive, democratic, and participative? Which challenges present collaborative projects and how could we overcome them? What are the next steps to share and restitute knowledge and heritage? What resources, structures and skills are required to respond to current challenges?

Location: Lecture Hall, Park-Villa Rieter, Museum Rietberg
Costs: 40 CHF incl. lunch bag and apéro
25 CHF for students and for members of the Rietberg Gesellschaft
Online registration until February 26, 2024

For more information, visit
For the full programme, visit