Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Provenance Research in Private-Sector Museums in the Free State of Bavaria

funding area Nazi confiscated art Grant recipient Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern (München) State Bavaria Website Provenienzforschung Bayern Contact person Project type Long-term project to systematically investigate collection holdings Funding duration
  1. February 2016 to February 2018
  2. February 2018 to February 2019


There are approximately 1,350 private-sector museums in Bavaria, and out of these, about 220 were established before 1945. Most of these are municipal/regional history museums, cultural-historical museums and 26 art museums. It is possible that they may have acquired items of dubious provenance for their collections between 1933 and 1945. Only about ten of these museums have conducted independent provenance research on their collections, five of which received funding from the German Lost Art Foundation.

This project builds on research findings by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Dr. Meike Hopp) which systematically investigated the documents of the Weinmüller auction house. The annotated auction catalogues proved to be especially important. They contained concrete indications that 17 Bavarian private-sector museums were among Weinmüller’s clients. The goal is to conduct a preliminary assessment of the purchased acquisitions of these museums between 1933 and 1945.

This State Office pilot project wishes to assess the need for extended provenance research at the museums in question and enable them to independently investigate cases in which grounds for suspicion exist. The project also hopes it will serve to increase awareness of provenance research in all private-sector museums in Bavaria.

© Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern