Collecting and Provenance: Usage, Authenticity and Ownership, Conference, Israel Museum Jerusalem, 13-16 November 2016

Events and Conferences


CONFERENCE PROGRAM - also available as a pdf here

(may be subject to change)

For any queries in connection with the conference (general information, overseas booking), please contact Registration document available here.

For more information - see conference website: 

Tickets for the full or partial program, and for Edmund de Waal's keynote speech may be purchased here:

Please note that some sessions and workshops run in parallel!


Day 1                Sunday, November 13th, 2016

 1-2pm               Welcome and registration at the Israel Museum

 2-2.30pm          Highlight tour at the Israel Museum

 4-5pm               WORKSHOPS: Run in parallel, please register for one of the following options:

 5-5.30pm        Coffee Break

 3.30-7.30pm   Opening Lecture

                         Opening Statements - The Provenance of Angelus Novus: a Timeless Case-Study, Mira
                         Lapidot (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

                         Opening Remarks and Welcome, Andrea M. Gáldy (International Forum Collecting &

                         Prof. Dror Wahrman (Dean of Humanities, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

 9:30-8pm         Conference Dinner (reserved for speakers)


Day 2                Monday, November 14th, 2016

9-9.45am           EARLY-BIRD WORKSHOP

                         Sivan Eran-Levian (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – The Harry Rosenthal Collection at
                         The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

10-11.30AM      Morning Panel

                         PROVENANCE AND ARCHAEOLOGY

                         Patrick Hunt (Stanford University, California) – Provenance, Probity, and Legal Challenges
                         in Archaeology and Art

                         Eran Arie (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – Thirty Years Later: The Dayan Collection at
                         The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

                         Gerald Finkielsztejn (Israel Antiquities Authority) – Looting, Provenance Research,
                         Forgery,and Connoisseurship vs. Technology: Hellenistic Levantine Scale Weights as a

11.30am-12 noon Coffee Break

12 noon-1.30pm   Late-Morning Panel Run in parallel, please register for one of the following options:


                          Sara Angel (University of Toronto, Canada) – Redefining the Rules of Nazi-Era Art:
                          Restitution: Methodologies of Provenance Studies in the Max Stern Recoveries Case

                          COLLECTING & DISPLAY

                          Christel H. Force (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) – Expanding the scope of
                          provenance research

                          Avraham Weber (Ministry of Social Equality, Israel) – Non-binding Best Practice:
                          Guidelines: Stock-taking from the Washington Principles to our Day

                          METHODOLOGY: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

                          Mary Kate Cleary and Alice Farren-Bradley (Art Recovery Group, New York and London) –
                          Teaching the Practice of Provenance Research

                          Humphrey Wine (National Gallery, London) – “Data! Data! Data! I cannot make bricks
                          without clay.” (Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, 1892)

                          Stephan Klingen, Meike Hopp, Christian Fuhrmeister (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte,
                          Munich) – Private Collections: The Hidden Obstacle

 1.30-2.30pm     Lunch Break

 2.45-4pm          WORKSHOPS: Run in parallel, please register for one of the following:

                          Miriam Malachi (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – Negotiating the Other: Changing
                          Approaches Towards Japanese Prints in the Israel Museum Collections

                          Ariel Tishby (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – Claudio Duchetti’s Rare Map of the Holy
                          Land, 1572/1602

                          Gioia Perugia and Efrat Assaf-Shapira (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) The Personal and
                          the Historical in the Collection of the Wing for Jewish Art and Life

                          Orna Granot (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design,
                          Jerusalem, and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Ramat Gan) – The
                          Provenance of Childhood Objects

4-4.30pm           Coffee Break

4.30-6.15pm      Afternoon Panel

                          Shlomit Steinberg (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – The Ultimate Nazi Wishlist:
                          Otto Kümmel and the Kümmel report (1939-1941)

                          Daniel Dratwa (Jewish Museum of Belgium, Brussels) – Looted Art and Provenance
                          Research: An Unfinished Journey in Belgium

                          Miriam Apfeldorf and Ruth Apter Gabriel (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) – Provenance
                          Research on Looted Art at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

                          Iris Schmeisser (Städel Museum, Frankfurt) – The Städel Museum in Frankfurt and its
                          Collection and Acquisitions during the Nazi Era


Day 3                Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

9-9.50am           EARLY-BIRD WORKSHOP

                         Dorit Shafir (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem), Marion Melk-Koch (Ethnographic State
                         Collections of Saxonia), Hermione Waterfield (Independent Consultant in Traditional Art
                         of Africa and Oceania) – Provenance Matters in African and Oceanic Art

10-11.30am      Morning Panel


                         Jennifer McComas (Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University) –
                         Rediscovering Lost Histories: The Role of Provenance Research in the Study of German
                         Art’s American Reception

                         Inês Fialho Brandão (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) – Karl Buchholz and the
                         Introduction of Entartete Kunst in Portugal

                         Meike Hoffmann (Free University of Berlin) – The Intersection of Degenerate Art / Looted
                         Art: A Double Challenge for Provenance Research

                         Shalom Sabar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – From Barcelona to Sarajevo: The
                         Curious Fate and Wanderings of the Sarajevo Haggadah over Six Centuries

11.30-12 noon  Coffee Break

12 – 1.30pm     Late Morning Panels: Run in parallel, please register for one of the following:

                         PROVENANCE, RESTITUTION AND THE LAW

                         Imke Gielen (von Trott zu Solz Lammek Law Firm, Berlin) – Restitution of Looted Art: Law,
                         Reality, and the Need for a Global Restitution Law

                         Guiora Debel (Hacohen-Debel-Sparber Law Firm, Jerusalem) – Provenance and the Will
                         of the Artist – Franz Kafka

                         Stephen Kellner and Sebastian Peters (Bavarian State Library, Munich) – Searching for
                         Looted Books at the Bavarian State Library, Munich: The Karl Süßheim Collection
                         (1878– 1947)

                         THE ECONOMICS OF PROVENANCE

                         Hadas Kedar (Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem) – Offshore Companies:
                         A Challenge to the 21st-century Art World

                         Lynn Rother (Museum of Modern Art, New York) – Provenance: Can You Bank on It? Art
                         as Collateral

                         Roni Amir (Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem) – Blood Antiquities

 1.30-2.30pm    Lunch Break

 2.45-4pm         Afternoon Panel, Run in parallel, please register for one of the following:

                        AUTHORSHIP AND AUTHENTICITY I

                        Noam Gal (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and The Hebrew University, Jerusalem) –
                        Uncomfortable with Sherrie Levine: Anxiety Disorders in Contemporary Art History

                        Tamar Mayer (University of Chicago, Illinois) – Fragonard’s Fake Drawings: Provenance,
                        Connoisseurship, and Consertion Tools

                        Daniel Unger (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) – An Unknown St. John the
by Guercino


                        Jeremy Wood (University of Nottingham) – Connoisseurship, Portraiture, and the Early
                        Collecting of Drawings: The Case of Jonathan Richardson and Rubens

                        Jochai Rosen (University of Haifa, Israel) – The Fictitious 17th-century Dutch Painter Jan
                        le Ducq and the Untying of his Vast Oeuvre

                        Jane Milosch and Jeffery Smith (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC) – The Asian Art
                        Provenance Connections Project: Provenance as Process, from Research and Data to
                        Public Access and Collaboration

4-4.30pm         Coffee Break

4.30-6pm         Late Afternoon Panel

                        AUTHORSHIP AND AUTHENTICITY II

                        Ido Litmanovitch (Van Leer Insitute, Jerusalem) – “Send these, the homeless,
                        tempest-tossed to me”

                        Shmuel Meiri (Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem) – Dinosaur Collections and
                        Displays: Provenance and Authenticity

                        Emily D. Bilski (Independent researcher and curator, Israel and Germany) – “Only
                        Culture?”: The Pringsheim Collection of Munich

                        Ruth Direktor (Tel Aviv Museum of Art) – Provenance as Incriminating Evidence: The Case
                        of a Bunch of Asparagus

 6.30-8.30pm   Evening Lecture


                         Introduction and Closing Statements, Gal Ventura (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

                         Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes


Day 4                Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

                         Tour of Jerusalem (please sign up in the registration form)
                         More details TBA



Organisers' Text: (see pdf original here)

Provenance research forms an important part of the regular aspects of museum curators’ work. In the context of documenting their collections, museums need to confirm the status of every object as an original artwork as well as validating the artist’s identity – information that typically relies on provenance research. Moreover, when lending a work of art, museums must know the details of its history in order to avoid claims of ownership while the work of art is exhibited outside their precincts.

In theory-based contemporary art-historical research, however, provenance seems to have lost its importance and standing. Despite the prominence of this subject in twentieth-century catalogues, books and exhibitions, today’s students are often unaware of its significance. They no longer attempt to establish attributions for art objects that are still to be categorised. Therefore, this meticulous gathering of information has largely turned into a lost art.

The main objective of this conference is to highlight the enduring significance of provenance and its implications for historians and art historians, as well as for students and researchers engaged in museum studies. It also offers an opportunity to demonstrate its relevance to other fields of expertise, such as conservation, visual culture studies, aesthetics, authentication, and connoisseurship versus technology as a means of establishing attributions and detecting forgeries. Provenance is still vitally important to jurisdiction concerning property law and ownership and it remains topical because of the on-going debate over looted art in the 1930s and 1940s and over the illicit trade in antiquities conducted from Iraq and Syria by terrorist groups.

The conference will take place at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Founded in 1965, the Museum holds encyclopaedic collections based on those of its predecessor, the Bezalel National Museum; it hosts works of art brought into the country by refugees and immigrants from Europe in the early twentieth century. It is, therefore, the ideal venue to explore the many aspects of provenance research – historical and contemporary – and to highlight its vital importance to collections and collectors today.

We welcome proposals on any aspect of the conference theme, particularly (but not limited to) the following:

The organisers of this conference invite proposals from scholars of the history of collecting as well as museum staff (curators, art historians, librarians, administrators, scientists). Please send proposals of approximately 250 words and a one-paragraph bio blurb in English to Dr Andrea Gáldy, Dr Gal Ventura and Ronit Sorek by 31 February 2016.

Tags: collections, museums, curators, art trade, Art Loss Register, looted art, theft, donations, sources, provenance

Preliminary conference outline (subject to change):
Sunday 13/11/16 - registration of speakers and delegates, exhibition tours and evening reception, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, keynote speech
Monday 14/11/16 - academic sessions, conference dinner
Tuesday 15/11/16 academic sessions
Wednesday 16/11/16 - morning: visits: guided tours in the Old City of Jerusalem, afternoon: academic sessions

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