Objects are presented along with large-format historical photographs in the exhibition “The Collection of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild” at Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt/Main.


On this page we provide a compilation of materials for information and research: publications produced by the Foundation, events to watch and listen to, explanatory videos about key issues relating to provenance research and an overview of exhibitions on the subject of Nazi-looted cultural property.


The German Lost Art Foundation regularly issues publications on the topic of Nazi-looted cultural property. For example, the periodical series “Provenance & Research” has included thematic issues on the 2018 Berlin Conference “20 Years of the Washington Principles: Roadmap for the Future”, on provenance research in “Peripheries”, and on “Libraries”. See here for all issues in the series. In addition, two volumes of the scholarly series “Provenire published by the Foundation are devoted to provenance research on Nazi-looted cultural property.

Cover "Provenire" volume 1
Provenance Research in German Collections
The first volume presents the findings and experiences of provenance research on Nazi-looted cultural property in Germany. Supported by ten years of research funding, it is a compilation of materials collected by German institutions that preserve cultural heritage.
Cover "Provenire" volume 2
Gurlitt Art Trove
The objective of the project “Gurlitt Provenance Research” was to clarify potential cases of Nazi-looted art. The results included valuable insights into structures, framework and sources of Nazi seizures of cultural property.

Provenance Research Manual

In addition, the German Lost Art Foundation collaborated with Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e. V., Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung und Restitution – Bibliotheken, the German Library Association, the German Museums Association and ICOM Deutschland to publish the “Provenance Research Manual to Identify Cultural Property Seized Due to Persecution during the National Socialist Era”. The manual is available in English and German and can be downloaded free of charge. It can also be ordered as a printed copy from the Foundation. See here for details of all publications issued by the German Lost Art Foundation.

Event Documentation

Since its inception, the German Lost Art Foundation has regularly organised annual conferences on provenance research topics and has documented these on its website, in some cases also on its YouTube channel. These can be viewed free of charge and include the major international conference “20 Years of the Washington Principles – Roadmap for the Future” (2018) as well as the digital conference “Die Peripherie im Zentrum. Vergessenes, Verdrängtes und Vernachlässigtes in der Provenienzforschung“ (“The periphery at the centre. What is forgotten, suppressed and neglected in provenance research”) (2022).

“Kolloquium Provenienzforschung” is also a regular series of lectures and discussions on the topic of Nazi-looted cultural property. Some of these events are likewise available for viewing on the Foundation’s YouTube channel. You will find details of all events in the event documentation – in English / in German.

Explanatory Videos

The German Lost Art Foundation makes short, animated explanatory videos available for use free of charge in order to support the educational work done by cultural heritage institutions. The videos answer the questions: “What is provenance research?”, “What are just and fair solutions?” and “What is the Lost Art Database?”; they can be embedded in multimedia guides, media stations and on websites, for example. The explanatory videos are published under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International). The German-language videos are also available with English subtitles.


In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of exhibitions on provenance research. Special exhibitions attract great interest among the public at large. What is more, information on provenance is increasingly becoming a standard feature of permanent exhibitions.

Given the opportunities they have at their disposal for display and communication, cultural heritage institutions make a key contribution to the culture of remembrance: by presenting the biographies of their objects, they are able to remind us of collectors who lost their possessions and often their lives as victims of racist persecution. This aspect will become increasingly important in the future given the fact that there are virtually no eyewitnesses left who are able to provide first-hand accounts of the Holocaust.

The complexity of the subject and the methodology has given rise to various forms of display and communication that are in a state of ongoing evolution. Since 2018, the German Lost Art Foundation has documented online all exhibition projects relating to provenance research that come to its attention. We are happy to receive reports of new exhibitions as well as corrections!

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The reverse sides of objects reveal provenance markings in the exhibition “Eigentum verpflichtet. Eine Kunstsammlung auf dem Prüfstand“ at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen.

Overview of Exhibitions

Here you will find a list of exhibitions on cultural property losses and seizures in the various historical contexts that have come to the attention of the Foundation.
Wartime losses represented as large-format black-and-white reproductions as part of the exhibition “Das verschwundene Museum. Die Berliner Gemälde- und Skulpturensammlungen 70 Jahre nach Kriegsende” (“The vanished museum. The Berlin painting and sculpture collections 70 years after the end of the war”) at the Bode Museum Berlin

Further Content

Schlosskirche Ellingen, Ellingen, April 1945
Basics & Overview
Background information on Nazi art looting and its reappraisal as well as further information relating to provenance research
Prayer book
Restitutions / Notifications
Information on the restitution of Nazi-looted cultural property and form for restitution notifications
Provenance research at the National Museum Oldenburg
Funding & Proposals
Information and documents on the funding of provenance research in the area of “Cultural property expropriated as a result of Nazi persecution”