Provenance Research

Provenance Research deals with the history and owners of the artworks – from the artist’s workshop to their places in the museum today. It is an exciting field of research with a serious political dimension.

Within the framework of the Daphne project, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden aims to clarify the provenance of their acquisitions since 1933. Jewish owners often were forced to sell their artworks or were expropriated and an illegitimate acquisition as a result of persecution under National Socialist rule appears likely. Even after 1945, artworks came into the museums under dubious circumstances, sometimes from expropriated aristocrats or from persons who fled the GDR.

One task of provenance research is to resolve these cases and to find “fair and just solutions” following the convention of Washington. You can find unsolved provenances or cases for which the legal owner of the artwork is searched for here and on

Please send your questions and clues to gilbert.lupfer/savecontact/