Call for Applications: German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program 2019

Colleen Carroll's picture
September 28, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, German History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                   



The German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP)

for Museum Professionals, 2017-2019


5th Exchange: Dresden State Art Collections (March 17-22, 2019)

6th Exchange: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (October 20-26, 2019)


Applications are open until September 28, 2018


The German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) brings together, for the first time, museum professionals from both sides of the Atlantic who specialize in World War II-era provenance projects for a three-year, systematic exchange that expands and elaborates on the methods and practices through which both countries have approached the issues pertaining to Holocaust-era art looting. PREP is also widening the scope of WWII-era provenance research, which to date has prioritized painting, sculpture, and Judaica, by including Asian art, decorative arts, and works on paper.


2019 is the final year of PREP, which brings together researchers, curators, collections managers, archivists, lawyers, and IT specialists to establish a transatlantic network to accelerate research on WWII-era art loss. PREP introduces participants to resources and experts at institutions in both countries; provides a forum for professional growth and networking; facilitates collaborative research projects; and increases public awareness of the work of museum communities in both countries to widen access to provenance resources and results through the development of new technologies.


PREP launched in 2017 with the 1st Exchange, hosted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, followed by the 2nd Exchange, hosted by the Berlin State Museums. In 2018, PREP began with the 3rd Exchange in Los Angeles, hosted by the Getty Research Institute, and the 4th Exchange will be in Munich, hosted by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, October 8-12, 2018.


The application to participate in BOTH the 5th and 6th Exchanges is now open: the first, hosted by the Dresden State Art Collections in Dresden (March 17-22, 2019), and the second, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. (October 20-26, 2019). Travel, lodging, and meals will be covered for the 21 participants. Selection announcements will go out mid-November 2018.


PREP is co-organized by the Smithsonian Institution and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation—Berlin State Museums). Its five partner institutions are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Getty Research Institute in LA, the Dresden State Art Collections, the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, and the German Center for Lost Art in Magdeburg.

The PREP Steering Committee, comprised of nine experts from the seven PREP partner institutions, will select 21 museum professionals in Germany and the U.S. who specialize in WWII-era art loss, to form the 2019 PREP Cohort.




Major support for PREP comes through a German government grant funded by the German Program for Transatlantic Encounters, with additional financial support from Germany’s Federal Commission for Culture and Media, the program’s six key partners, and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.



For information about the background and goals of PREP:


Read about PREP participant’s experiences:


PREP Public Programs:

New York City:


Los Angeles:



The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum/research complex in the world. In order to aid in the identification and discovery of objects in its collections that may have been subject to questionable transfer of ownership or unlawful appropriation during the World War II Era, Smithsonian museums are working to identify all objects in their collections that were created before 1946, were acquired after 1932, that underwent a change of ownership during 1933-1945, and that were, or might have been, in continental Europe between those dates. The Smithsonian Institution is committed to making information on these objects available to the public, as for example, with its Asian Arts Provenance Connections Project.


The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation/Berlin State Museums), with its museums, libraries, archives and research institutes, is one of the most important cultural institutions in the world. Its outstanding collections include all areas of worldwide cultural traditions: from archaeological and ethnological objects by way of the visual arts to literature and music. The combination of art and culture with science and research is an unmistakable hallmark of the foundation. The foundation supports in-depth scholarly and educational work, and the Central Archives of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) is a critical resource for provenance research.          


The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) are among the foremost museums of the world, its 15 museums offering exceptional thematic diversity. Among its collections that address the focus of PREP are the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett, one of the oldest and most significant collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; the Green Vault in Dresden’s Royal Palace, the Porcelain Collection at the Zwinger and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Pillnitz. Since 2008, the SKD has conducted comprehensive provenance research, registration, and inventory of its collections. A key instrument of the research project is the development of the museum’s “Daphne” database, to register all 1.2 million objects in SKD holdings and to facilitate the systematic provenance research of all acquisitions since 1933.




Contact Info: 

Colleen Carroll

PREP Project Coordinator, U.S.

Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative

Smithsonian Institution

Contact Email: