February 23, 2018

Getty Research Presents Provenance Research – A Personal Concern

Media Contact(s):

Amy Hood
310 440-6427
Getty Communications




Presented in relation to the Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) and

the 20th anniversary of the landmark Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art


Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 7 p.m.

At the Getty Center


          LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, March 1, the director of the Getty Research Institute, Thomas W. Gaehtgens, will be joined by Stephanie Barron (curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Simon Goodman (author of The Orpheus Clock), and James Welu (Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum) for a conversation about provenance research.

          2018 marks the 20th anniversary of American museums’ establishment of the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, a set of principles that have been greatly influential in the work of art historians, curators, provenance experts, heirs and other researchers investigating the provenances of art potentially mis-appropriated by the Nazis.

          The talk is held in connection with the German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) for Museum Professionals, 2017-2019, which brings together German and American experts who specialize in World War II-era provenance projects for long-term, face-to-face scholarly exchange to facilitate provenance research pertaining to Holocaust-era art looting. The talk is the public culmination of a week-long international convening at the Getty Research Institute.

          “The Getty Research Institute has major archival holdings which are substantial for provenance research of stolen artworks during the Nazi period. And, with our German colleagues, we have completed the digitizing of sales catalogues of this period, transferring this vast material into the Getty Provenance Index,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute. “Because of the GRI’s engagement in this field we are a partner of PREP, an important initiative to progress and intensify provenance research about the events in this dark period.”

          PREP is co-organized by the Prussian Cultural Heritage foundation (SPK)—National Museums in Berlin and the Smithsonian Institution, through its Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI). SPRI Director Jane Milosch explains, “PREP brings together provenance experts on both sides of the Atlantic to share their resources, methodologies, and technologies. PREP’s goal is that through its 3-year systematic exchange and collaboration, we can piece together a more detailed transatlantic picture of the art world in the run-up and the follow-up to National Socialism. When we look closely at art loss, we connect at a deep level with the people whose lives and histories were lost and dispersed, enabling us to tell their stories in the fullest way possible.”

          “The many excellent applications for participation in PREP we received show how important this initiative is,” said Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation). “We are delighted that we are able to offer 5 additional places this year and can now welcome 26 participants to the program. 20 years after the Washington Conference, I believe we are making significant progress in our research and in raising awareness, but we must not become complacent. The stable long-term transatlantic network that PREP is establishing is a vital step towards increasing the momentum in this important area of work.”

          In addition to SPK and the Smithsonian, PREP’s partner institutions are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte München, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Deutsches Zentrum für Kulturgutverluste (German Center for Lost Art,Magdeburg); and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

          Tickets for the event can be reserved here.


Major PREP support comes from the German Program for Transatlantic Encounters, financed by the European Recovery Program through Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and its Commissioner for Culture and the Media, with additional support from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, James P. Hayes, Suzanne and Norman Cohn, and Ferdinand-Möller-Stiftung, Berlin.


The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library—housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier—is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library’s special collections include rare books, artists’ journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.

Visiting the Getty Center
The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 3 p.m. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

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