Provenance research at MARKK. Where do we stand today?

A conversation with Stéphane Kabila, Jasmin Günther, Jana C. Reimer and Julianne de Sousa

Standing figure, wood, colour, early 20th century

On the occasion of the Day of Provenance Research, MARKK will be presenting current research projects. We will collectively reflect on the research processes that have taken place in recent years and discuss possible future developments.

Since mid-2023, a research project funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation has been examining a collection by the Africanist Leo Frobenius from the Kasai region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The two-year project is rethinking the restitution of objects from the Kasai region as a rematriation focusing on the process of reconnecting cultural goods to cultural, spiritual and environmental value in dialogue with local communities.

Furthermore, provenance research at MARKK has been focused on the collections from Papua New Guinea that were acquired during the first year of the Hamburg South Seas Expedition (1908–1909). The two-year project, with support from the Hamburg Scientific Foundation (Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung), seeks to investigate the colonial context of these acquisitions and to develop new perspectives for future treatment and care of the collections in collaboration with research partners in Papua New Guinea.

Since autumn 2023, an additional provenance research project at MARKK has been examining museum objects in the context of Nazi-Confiscated Art. The aim of the two-year project is a systematic review of the property receipts between 1933 and 1952 as well as the structured recording of the previous owners and sellers during the period of investigation.

The projects focused on the Hamburg South Seas Expedition and on the objects related to Nazi-Confiscated Art (1933-1952) are funded by the German Lost Art Foundation (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste). Stéphane Kabila’s Fellowship and research regarding the Leo Frobenius collection  is funded by  Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Stéphane Kabila, Jasmin Günther, Jana C. Reimer and Julianne de Sousa will speak about the current status of their respective projects as well as selected object (hi)stories.

Free Entry

The event will take place in English at  Zwischenraum – A Space Between