CFP: Section Provenance, Fourth Swiss Congress of Art History (Mendrisio, 6-8 June 2019)

The relevance of provenance: Contemporary aspects of provenance research in theory and practice

The Washington Principles (1998) and the extensive research by the Bergier Commission (1996–2002), are key dates for provenance research in Switzerland. From 2012 the “Gurlitt trove” and the legacy of the estate to the Kunstmuseum Bern drew attention once again to the treatment of artworks looted by the Nazis in public and private collections. Research into the change of ownership of art works and artefacts has once again been discussed internationally since then. Since 2016 in Switzerland, the federal government has devoted a total of 2 million francs to provenance research projects in museums. But what demands are placed on provenance research as a discipline, specifically in Switzerland? Along with the historical and moral obligation to restitute art works and cultural assets to their legal owners or their heirs, today there are additional questions that apply to the content particularly of the academic disciplines of art history, ethnology and archaeology as well as art technology and conservation studies, and which extend to issues of international cultural asset transfer and thus to legal and political aspects of the origin of artefacts. Continue reading “CFP: Section Provenance, Fourth Swiss Congress of Art History (Mendrisio, 6-8 June 2019)”