Call for Applications: Smithsonian PREP 2018



2018 PREP 

The Smithsonian Institution and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Announce

Second Year of Exchanges under the German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) for Museum Professionals, 2017-2019

3rd Exchange in Los Angeles, February 26-March 2, 2018

4th Exchange in Munich, October 8-12, 2018


Applications for the 2018 program are open from June 15-September 15, 2017.

In February 2017, the Smithsonian Institution and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation—Berlin State Museums), two of the world’s largest museum, education and research complexes, inaugurated their groundbreaking German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program for Museum Professionals (PREP) with its 1st Exchange, hosted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The 2nd Exchange will convene in Berlin in October 2017.

The 6 Exchanges that PREP will organize, 2017-2019, bring together museum professionals from both sides of the Atlantic who specialize in World War II-era provenance research for extended, systematic exchange of practices and methodologies governing the research in both countries. PREP is establishing a transatlantic network to enable bilateral collaborations to accelerate research on WWII-era art loss, to aid development of technologies that can increase access to provenance resources and results, and to increase public awareness of the work being done by the museum communities in both countries. PREP widens the scope of WWII-era provenance research, which has given priority to painting, sculpture, and Judaica, by including Asian art, decorative arts and works on paper.

In addition to the SPK and the Smithsonian, PREP partner organizations are The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Museums) and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte München (Central Institute for Art History in Munich), and each will host an Exchange. The Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Center for Lost Art in Magdeburg) is a consultative participant in the program.  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.

Provenance research is an integral part of museum practice that documents the chain of ownership of an object from its creation to the present. For the 2018 Exchanges, twenty-one museum professionals who specialize in World War II art loss—provenance researchers, curators, archivists and other

experts—will be selected to meet for week-long exchanges hosted by two research institutions with important holdings of WWII-era research resources: The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (February 26-March 2, 2018); and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte München (October 8-12, 2018). Selection announcements will go out mid-November.

In 2019, the 5th Exchange will be in Dresden, and the 6th Exchange will be in Washington, D.C.

The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts and their various histories through its expertise, active collecting program, public programs, institutional collaborations, exhibitions, publications, digital services, and residential scholars’ programs. Its German Sales, 1930-1945: Artworks, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy, and German Sales, Phase II: 1901-1929 projects explore the wider German art trade during the first half of the 20th century. This research is important from an art-historical perspective and provides new insight into the cultural policy and political objectives of the National Socialist regime. The GRI, in partnership with the Kunstbibliothek—Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg is working towards a comprehensive dataset in the Getty Provenance Index® covering all extant auction sales held in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland during the first half of the 20th century.

The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI) was founded in 1946 as an independent research institute in direct connection with the Central Collecting Point (CCP) of the American military government in the former Administrative Building of the National Socialist party. For 20 years the ZI has been researching and publishing its findings on the art history of National Socialism and the immediate postwar era. The ZI has one of the largest and most significant art historical libraries in the world, with 580,000 volumes and 1,140 current periodical subscriptions. These join its photographic archive (c. 900,000 items) as well as numerous international online resources and databases to make the ZI a major service institution offering outstanding opportunities for art historical research. The series of colloquia on provenance and collection research has established itself as an international platform for discussion, exchange and the presentation of projects.

For more information on the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz:

For more information on the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative:

For more information about the background and goals of PREP:

For Smithsonian PREP Announcement:

For press images: