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German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) for Museum Professionals, 2017-2019

Information about hte Program and the Call for Applications
Source Smithsonian Press Release accessed 25 October 2016, also the Information for Applicants pdf available here)


The German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) for Museum Professionals
Deutsch-Amerikanisches Austauschprogramm zur Provenienzforschung für Museen

Program Description

Deutsche Programmbeschreibung
Bewerbungen für PREP müssen über das Smithsonian's online application portal SOLAA erfolgen.

The German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) will bring 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. The program will expand and elaborate on the methods and practices with which both countries have thus far approached the issues pertaining to Holocaust-era art looting. PREP will also widen the scope of World War II-era provenance research, which to date has given priority to painting, sculpture, and Judaica, by including Asian art, decorative arts, and works on paper.

The primary goal of the program is to create an exchange network of German and American art museum professionals, and of experts in research institutions that support museum work. The participants will include, first and foremost, museum curators and provenance researchers, but also archivists, lawyers, as well as specialists in information technology and digital humanities—that is, professionals who facilitate, support, and relay provenance research and play an important part as multipliers. Graduate students who are engaged in World War II-era provenance research relevant to museum collections are also invited to take part in the program.

PREP will provide a stimulating forum for professional growth and networking; it will introduce the participants to available resources and local experts, and enable specialists to share their area of expertise. The purpose of these exchanges will be to explore research topics, resources, methodologies, and technologies that all participants can learn from so that, as leaders in their field, they can, in turn, generate new joint projects and mentor the next generation of museum professionals. PREP will also explore the development of shared technology platforms and publish an online guide to World War II-era German/American provenance research resources to expedite research on art losses in the National Socialist era.

The Program's co-organizers—the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and the Zentralarchiv der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Central Archives of the National Museums in Berlin, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, SPK)—are joined by four partner institutions: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden; and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich. The new Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, Magdeburg, is a consultative participant in the program. For more information about Project Leadership see below.

In their respective cities, these partners will host a total of six major exchanges, comprising of tours, workshops, and public events during 2017-2019 (New York – Berlin in 2017; Los Angeles – Munich in 2018; and Washington D.C. – Dresden in 2019). At each host institution, PREP will include an educational program open to the public. PREP will inform and enhance the way provenance research is conducted and conveyed in German and American museums and will benefit the field as a whole.

Major support for PREP comes from the German Program for Transatlantic Encounters, financed from European Recovery Program funds provided by the late Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). This program continues to promote the ideas of George C. Marshall, according to whom supporting transatlantic partnerships fosters mutual understanding. Additional financial support comes from Germany's Federal Commission for Culture and Media and the program's six key partners.

2017 PREP Call for Applications

The organizing and partnering institutions of the Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) for Museum Professionals are pleased to announce the first international, interdisciplinary exchange program for museum professionals who specialize in World War II-era provenance research of art collections. Application for the 2017 program is now open and can be accessed below. The deadline to apply is November 18, 2016.

Over a period of three years, PREP will fund two exchanges a year for 20 participants (10 from the U.S. and 10 from Germany). The week-long exchanges will occur in February and September, 2017-2019, respectively. Twenty grantees will travel to New York and Berlin in 2017; another cohort to Los Angeles and Munich in 2018; and a third one to Washington D.C. and Dresden in 2019. A separate application process will take place each year. In each application cycle, the Steering Committee (see below) will select participants from U.S. and German institutions, whose varied expertise and interests will be reflected in the program.

PREP welcomes applications from all art museum professionals engaged in, or committed to, World War II-era provenance projects at their institutions, as well as employees of educational and scholarly institutions that directly support such research. (See the U.S. application criteria and the German application criteria below).

In 2017, PREP will be hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (February 5-10, 2017) and by the National Museums in Berlin (September 24-29, 2017). Travel, lodging and meals will be covered (within pre-set limits) for all 20 PREP participants for the two programs in both cities. Participants may extend their stay to conduct research at their own expense.

The 2017 PREP application can be accessed after logging into the Smithsonian's Online Application Platform, SOLAA. The application is listed under the "Office of the Undersecretary for History, Art and Culture." The application is called "German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP)."

In order to be considered, your 2017 PREP application must be complete. Please be sure to:
• upload three supporting documents
     • a current CV in English or German
     • a three-part essay (titled "Other" in SOLAA)
     • a "Project/Research Proposal"
• provide contact information for a letter of recommendation/support;
• answer all six Additional Questions.
You can save your changes and return to the application at any time before you submit it.
Please submit your application only after it is complete.

Completed applications with all supporting documents are due by 12 pm EST on Friday, November 18, 2016. Applicants will be notified of their status by the end of December 2016.

For questions about the German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program or the application process, please contact or

Selection Criteria for U.S. Applicants

Museum Professionals:
• Part- or full-time employment in the U.S. at a museum with an art collection, or at an art research or educational institution that supports World War II-era provenance research at a U.S. museum
• Experience in archival research
• Working knowledge of German preferred
• Additional criteria defined by position, below:

     • Involvement in World War II-era provenance research projects at your institution,
     whether online, in TMS, or in publications; or supervision of such projects
     • Expertise in Asian art, decorative arts, or works on paper preferred, but not required

     Provenance Researchers:
     • Expertise in World War II-era provenance research preferred
     • Experience conducting in-depth research in U.S. and/or foreign archives

     Archivists, Collections Managers, Registrars, Lawyers, IT and Digital Humanities Specialists:
     • Involvement with and commitment to World War II-era research projects at your institution

MA or PhD Students or Post-Graduate Researchers:
• Current or previous experience in World War II-era provenance research that relates to a U.S. museum collection
• Planned or current research project (thesis, dissertation, or publication) that involves World War II-era provenance research. Focus on Asian art, decorative arts, or works on paper preferred, but not required

Voraussetzungen für deutsche Bewerber

Für alle Bewerber (weitere Kriterien siehe unter den jeweiligen Berufsgruppen):
• Gute Englischkenntnisse
• Kompetenz in der Internet- und Datenbank-Recherche

Für Wissenschaftler/Kuratoren zusätzlich:
• Tätigkeit in einem Museum mit kunstgewerblichen Objekten oder ostasiatischen Objekten oder Arbeiten auf Papier/Graphik
• Interesse an Provenienzforschung und Sammlungsgeschichte

Für Provenienzforscher zusätzlich:
• Tätigkeit für ein Museum oder eine Forschungseinrichtung zum Zeitpunkt der Teilnahme am Austauschprogramm
• Erwünscht sind Erfahrungen in der Provenienzforschung zu ostasiatischer Kunst oder zu Arbeiten auf Papier/Graphik oder zu Kunstgewerbe („large scale collection“)
• Kompetenz in der Archiv-Recherche in Deutschland
• Lesekompetenz in altdeutscher Schrift 19./20. Jhd.

Für Archivare/Museologen/Digital Humanities/Juristen zusätzlich:
• Tätigkeit in einem Museum oder einer Forschungseinrichtung oder in einem Archiv
• starke Bezugspunkte ihrer Tätigkeit zur Provenienzforschung, z.B.
     • Unterstützung von Provenienzrecherchen (Archiv),
     • Dokumentation von Provenienzen in Datenbanken (Museologe),
     • Bereitstellung/Betreuung der IT-Ressourcen (Digital Humanities),
     • juristische Bearbeitung von Restitutionen (Juristen)

Für Volontäre/Studenten zusätzlich:
• Volontariat in einem Museum mit kunstgewerblichen /ostasiatischen Objekten bzw. Arbeiten auf Papier/Graphik oder im Bereich Provenienzforschung eines Museums
• Arbeit an einer Dissertation zu einem Thema aus der Provenienzforschung

Project Leadership / Projektleitung

Co-Chairs / Vorsitz

Richard Kurin, Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Hermann Parzinger, Präsident der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), Berlin

Co-Organizers / Organisatoren

Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Zentralarchiv der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Central Archives of the National Museums), Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), Berlin

Steering Committee / Steuerungsausschuss

Christel H. Force, Associate Research Curator, Modern and Contemporary, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Christian Fuhrmeister, Forschungsabteilung (Research Department), Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München
Uwe Hartmann, Leiter des Fachbereichs Provenienzforschung (Head of the Provenance Research Department), Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Center for Lost Art), Magdeburg
Christian Huemer, Head, Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Gilbert Lupfer, Leiter Forschung und wissenschaftliche Kooperation (Head of Research and Scientific Cooperation), Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections)
Jane Milosch, Director, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Washington, D.C.
Laurie A. Stein, Senior Advisor, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative, Washington, D.C.
Carola Thielecke, Justiziarin (Counsel), Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
Petra Winter, Leiterin des Zentralarchivs der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Director, Central Archives of the National Museums in Berlin), Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin

Find out more about provenance, lost works and related topics.

what is provenance? >

cultural property in the world war II era >

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Learn more about the provenance of our collection objects in the object database.

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For more information contact or with any additional questions about PREP or the application process.