Curating Provenances: A Fragile Past Meissen porcelain from the Oppenheimer family, V&A Provenance Research Seminar, Learning Centre, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2SL,17 May 2023, 16:00– 17:30pm

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The Meissen porcelain brought together by Margarethe and Franz Oppenheimer formed one of the most important collections of Early Meissen in the world. They collected from their home in the Tiergartenviertel in Berlin in the early 20th century but were forced to sell their collection when they fled the Nazi regime.The collection ended up in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where it was displayed as part of the famous collection of Decorative Arts of Fritz Mannheimer.

In 2021 the collection was restituted to the heirs of the Oppenheimers, following a claim submitted to the Dutch Restitution Commission. The collection was consequently sold at auction. The Rijksmuseum acquired a significant part of the collection.

The lecture will discuss highlights of the Oppenheimer Collection that are currently on display in the Rijksmuseum. Both as exquisite examples of Early Meissen Porcelain and as silent witnesses to the lives of Margarethe and Franz Oppenheimer.

Femke Diercks is Head of Decorative Arts and Curator of European Ceramics at the Rijksmuseum. She studied art history at the University of Groningen. In 2015 she was one of the curators for Asia in Amsterdam, Luxury in the Golden Age. She is currently working on an exhibition about the Dutch Interior in the 17th century.

Mara Lagerweij is working as a Provenance Specialist for the Rijksmuseum since 2012. She did a research master Art Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Currently she is working on an exhibition on looted art and restitution as a guest curator for the Jewish Museum, that will take place in spring 2024. 

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