Provenance Research and “Degenerate Art”, talk by Dr Lucy Wasersteiner, Victoria & Albert Museum London, 16.00-17.00, 2 October 2019

Events and Conferences

The National Socialist campaign against so-called “degenerate art” is often discussed in the context of Nazi art lootings and restitutions after 1945. This campaign was however fundamentally distinct from the regime’s thefts of private property – a calculated attempt to purge unwanted culture from the German state’s own collections. This talk will explore how Nazi cultural policy developed during the early years of the Hitler regime, and the impact this had on the movement of artworks, culminating in the museum confiscations of summer 1937 and the Munich exhibition Degenerate Art. It will overview the work already done to reconstruct these events, and the resources available to find out more. It will also discuss how these resources can be of broader use to researchers seeking to reconstruct object histories in museums and private collections today.

Dr Lucy Wasensteiner is lecturer in Art History at the University of Bonn. She works in the transdisciplinary Research Centre for Provenance Research, Art and Cultural Heritage Law, supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. She is a qualified UK solicitor and holds a PhD in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her provenance-based research into the 1938 London exhibition Twentieth Century German Art formed the basis of the London 1938 exhibition project staged in London and Berlin during 2018.

Gilbert Provenance and Spoliation Research Seminar at the V&A:

This talk is part of the Gilbert Provenance and Spoliation Research Seminar which aims to provide a regular forum for researchers from numerous disciplinary backgrounds working on provenance and spoliation issues at different museums, universities, libraries, auction houses and both governmental and non-governmental organisations across the UK. The seminar provides a space for the presentation of cutting-edge research and discussion of methods, resources, current trends and the increasing challenges of this dynamic and changing field.

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Victoria & Albert Museum, Sackler Centre, Seminar Room 3, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2SL



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