TIAMSA Member Announcement: CFP: The Fate of Antiquities in the Nazi Era (College Art Association, Annual (virtual) Conference, 10–13 Feb 2021)

Deadline: September 16, 2020

Despite the important role antiquity and archaeology played in the ideology of the Third Reich, until recently there has been little attempt to develop a holistic picture of the fate of ancient objects during the Nazi era. Within the broader field of Nazi-era provenance research the limited attention to the plight of Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, and Byzantine antiquities stands in sharp contrast to the focus on other categories of artworks. To what extent were ancient collections subjected to confiscations, forced sales, thefts, looting, losses, illegal exportations, and trade in various countries in Europe and Middle East during the period from 1933 to 1945? Who were the major private collectors and dealers of antiquities?

Can we trace any of these objects to their ancient contexts and extend their provenance to the present day? It is an opportune time to engage in such research, with much online information available, including dealer and auction records, museum provenance information, and digitized records of various Nazi and Allied agencies. Nevertheless, challenges remain, including the difficulty of linking antiquities with their ancient contexts; the general dismissal of antiquities as “multiples”; the inconsistent way antiquities are described in databases; misidentifications on inventory lists; and few photographs. However, the results of these studies can be illuminating and will add much to our research methods and understanding of the art world in the late 19thand first half of the 20th century, including the aesthetics of National Socialism and tastes of collectors during this period.

We are seeking proposals for presentations related to Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman or Byzantine antiquities with a history in the Nazi era (1933-1945).

These papers might focus on:

  • dealers of antiquities
  • collectors of antiquities
  • individual collections or objects with a Nazi-era provenance
  • the antiquities’ market in this period in Europe, Middle East, and U.S. and the impact of WWII and the Nazis
  • and the acquisition of antiquities in source countries, including looting

In addition, papers on methodological approaches to the subject are welcome. Please note that the presenter(s) must be CAA members and register for the conference.

Please send a proposal of 250 words and a short CV to Irene Bald Romano (ireneromano@email.arizona.edu) and Sandra van Ginhoven (svanginhoven@getty.edu) by September 16, 2020.

For more information about the conference and CFP deadlines, see: https://caa.confex.com/caa/2021/webprogrampreliminary/meeting.html.