Conference 2024 available online

All contributions to the 2024 annual conference “Provenance Research and Photography” are now accessible in the website's media library.
Photography in our blog
In our blog we focus on relevant subjects in provenance research – we are currently dedicating a small series to photography.
Modified guidelines of project funding
Modified conditions for applying the project funding from January 2, 2024.
Jewish Collectors
Our research database Proveana offers a focus on “Jewish collectors” with the aim of raising the visibility of important collections that were lost as a result of Nazi looting.
Gurlitt provenance research
Results of the “Gurlitt provenance research” project in our Proveana research database

Historical Contexts

The German Lost Art Foundation deals with cultural property that was once looted from its owners – during the Nazi era, the colonial period or in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR – as well as with items of cultural property that went missing in the course of the Second World War. The Foundation funds provenance research in order to clarify whether or not objects were seized unlawfully. Here we provide information on historical background and funding opportunities, as well as material for research purposes.
Schlosskirche Ellingen, Ellingen, April 1945
Nazi-looted Cultural Property
The National Socialist state enriched itself extensively and ruthlessly by expropriating the property of Jewish citizens in particular. Here you will find background information on Nazi art looting along with details of project funding and how to report restitutions.
Pustaha, a "Spell Book" from the island of Sumatra, which is now in the Greiz Collection of Books and Engravings.
Colonial Contexts
Not only cultural goods were looted during the colonial period but in many thousands of instances also human remains. We offer information about seizure in colonial contexts, explain funding opportunities and provide materials.
Empty picture frames as a call for the return of paintings from the West Berlin Gemäldegalerie in Berlin-Dahlem which were previously stored at the Central Collecting Point Wiesbaden, 1953-1955
Wartime Losses
During the Second World War and shortly afterwards, millions of items of cultural property were transferred to or from Germany. See here for more on the history of wartime losses along with the relevant materials.
Saal Schloss Rötha
Soviet Occupation Zone / GDR
In the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR, cultural assets were looted, seized and also sold by the state. Here we introduce research into the expropriation of cultural property between 1945 and 1990.

Project Statistics

Project statistics and a project finder provide an overview of all projects that the German Lost Art Foundation and its predecessor institution have funded in the past or are still funding. Using a map format and filters, it is possible to search for and display projects according to specific historical contexts or federal states, for example.
Thuringia Schleswig-Holstein Saxony-Anhalt Saxony Saarland Rhineland-Palatinate North Rhine-Westphalia Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Lower Saxony Hesse Hamburg Bremen Brandenburg Berlin Bavaria Baden-Württemberg All 541 Projects
Germany
541 Projects

100% of all German projects

All projects

short-term projects

long-term projects

of which Nazi-looted cultural property

short-term projects

long-term projects

Colonial contexts

short-term projects

long-term projects

Soviet Occupation Zone and GDR

short-term projects

long-term projects

of which Wartime Losses

short-term projects

long-term projects

Active Projects Completed Not yet begun
Total Number 110 422 6
Archive 0 8 0
Library 5 17 0
Institute 6 19 0
Cooperations between public and private institutions 1 3 0
Cooperations between individuals and public institutions 5 15 0
Museum 48 235 4
Privately owned institutions 4 12 0
Private person 4 4 0
University 20 41 1
Public administration 17 68 1
To the projects

Registration is required to view the final reports on Proveana.

Proveana Logo english optimized
Proveana is the German Lost Art Foundation’s database for provenance research. It is mainly dedicated to presenting the outcomes of research projects funded by the Foundation to the public at large.
Lost Art English Logotype optimized
The Lost Art Database lists cultural property that was seized from Jewish citizens between 1933 and 1945 (“Nazi-looted cultural property”). It also contains reports on cultural goods displaced as a result of the Second World War.

News & Events

Historical inventory maps of the Landesmuseum Oldenburg
The 2024 summer semester series focuses on collecting and the art trade in the region.
 Japanese wooden figures (netsuke)
Art objects from the Herbert Ginsberg Collection are returned to descendants
early Corinthian jug in a showcase
The early Corinthian jug was looted during the Second World War.

Blog Posts

Romane zum NS-Kunstraub liegen auf einem Tisch
Uwe Fleckner’s first novel (and the Nazi-looted art thriller as a literary genre)
Grafik mit Besuchern vor einer leeren Museumswand
Empty spaces in museums as a narrative of cultural-historical and political contexts
Ansicht eines Datensatzes
"Provenance research and photography" I: The effects of digitality on the handling of photographs

Publications

Cover "Provenire": special volume
Provenire series (special volume): Kunstraub für den Sozialismus
How should public institutions deal with cultural property that was confiscated in the SBZ and the GDR? As part of its series Provenire, the German Lost Art Foundation has published a legal opinion on the assessment of cultural property confiscation in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR.
Umschlag "Provenienz & Forschung"
The Periodical “Provenienz & Forschung” (2023)
This issue of the Periodical „Provenienz & Forschung" deals with the topic „Fotografien". (in German)
Working Paper 6/2024
Working Paper 6/2024
In issue 6/2024 of the series "Working Paper Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste", Larissa Förster and Gesa Grimme focus on Namibian Cultural Heritage in Museums and Universities in German-Speaking Countries.