Provenance Research

Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz

Exhibition, 29 October 2022 – 22 January 2023

What impact did the National Socialist dictatorship, the Second World War and the division of Germany have on the ownership history of art works, books and cultural assets? How did these items enter public institutions? What are the obligations inherent in owning art? The Akademie exhibition "Proveniance Research", on show at Pariser Platz from 29 October 2022 to 22 January 2023, investigates these questions. The point of departure is new findings about the origin of objects in the collection of the Akademie der Künste. These include dispersed manuscripts of the philosopher Walter Benjamin, art critic Alfred Kerr's library confiscated by the Gestapo, oil sketches by Carl Blechen hitherto believed lost, and Otto Nagel’s collection of paintings which entered the collection during GDR times. In a contemporary intervention, the artist Marianna Christofides will address works in the exhibition.

In addition to insights into the detective methods of provenance research, the exhibition focuses on the identification of Nazi looted art in the Akademie’s possession, the search for the collections of the Prussian Akademie der Künste lost during the Second World War, the recovery of artworks and a critical appraisal of the efforts of the East German state apparatus to gain possession of marketable art objects and iconic collections. The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of events with rounds of discussions, a wide range of educational activities and a publication with in-depth essays and biographies of the works.

The Future of Critique

18 – 19 Nov 2022, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn
24 – 26 Nov 2022, Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz


Everyone is a critic today. But where is critique? We are all experts evaluating each other. But where are the experts for the greater whole? Today, every theatre, every museum, every scientific institute is expected to mediate and promote its work– while independent mediation, contextualization, and evaluation are disappearing with the general media. But without criticism, there is no public. Without the public, no arts. Without the arts, no democracy.

Just when the monopolies of criticism have been broken and individual perspectives are finally being given broader scope, criticism is experiencing its greatest crisis. This crisis serves as a lens for the congress ‘The Future of Critique’ to focus on fundamental changes in the public sphere, institutions, and society. 90 international guests from the fields of theatre, music, literature, film, architecture, visual arts, and the media will discuss the future of the public sphere at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.