COLLECTED. BOUGHT. LOOTED? Case Studies from a Colonial and National Socialist Context

How did ancestor figures from Nias off the western coast of Sumatra enter the European art market in the early twentieth century? Why could the museum buy objects rather ‘cheaply’ in Paris and Amsterdam in the early 1940s? Is a weapon belt from South Africa war booty?
These are just some of the questions arising from a critical review of the Weltkulturen Museum’s collection. For many of the museum’s objects, their provenance remains vague with hardly any written records documenting their acquisition. To specifically address these issues, the exhibition COLLECTED. BOUGHT. LOOTED? presents a number of case studies to highlight collecting practices in the colonial context and under the Nazi regime. The histories of these objects clearly underline the importance of a long-term analysis of the museum’s own collection history. At the same time, the exhibition shows the limits often encountered when reconstructing the acquisition of museum objects and how, in many cases, the further questions raised remain unanswered.

This exhibition is part of the cooperation “BOUGHT. COLLECTED. LOOTED? How things came into the museum” with the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Museum Judengasse, the Museum Angewandte Kunst and the Fritz-Bauer-Institut. These exhibitions are on display until 14th October 2018.

Curated by Julia Friedel and Vanessa von Gliszczynski.

Accompanying the exhibition the Weltkulturen Museum offers Curators' Guided Tours and invites you to the Social Media Community Event BOUGHT. COLLECTED. LOOTED? on September 5th, 6.30 pm. Further information here.

Follow us @weltkulturen.museum and #GesammeltGekauftGeraubt? #RaubgutFrankfurt #LootedArtFrankfurt!

Funded by the Frankfurt Department of Cultural Affairs Cooperation Fund. The HR supports the project as a media partner.

Weltkulturen Labor, Schaumainkai 37