Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Das Instrumentenmuseum der Kölner Musikwissenschaft im Netzwerk der NS-Zeit

funding area Nazi confiscated art Grant recipient Universität zu Köln State North Rhine-Westphalia Website Contact person Project type Long-term project to systematically investigate collection holdings Funding duration
  1. January 2017 to December 2017
  2. January 2018 to December 2018


The Museum of Musical Instruments at the Institute of Musicology of the University of Cologne has undergone numerous historical and institutional transformations. Founded in 1932 by Theodor Kroyer, the first professor of musicology to be appointed after the re-establishment of the University of Cologne in 1919, the collection grew over eighty years - the last acquisition took place in 1991 - now counting more than 180 artefacts, including European string and wind instruments, non-European instruments, and models for teaching purposes. The focus of the collection is on historical and modern keyboard instruments, wich constitute the majority of the exhibits.
The project aims to study the history and the development of the collection as a tangible heritage of the University and its Institute of Musicology. Its goal is to trace and illuminate the local, national
and international networks that have historically enabled the acquisitions for the collection. Particular attention is devoted to uncovering the historical trajectories of the instruments during the Nazi period and to investigating the micro-politics of public institutions in that era. The results of this project will be presented as part of the centennial jubilee of the re-establishment of the University in 2019.

© Universität zu Köln, February 2017