Inventory of Sculptures and Plastics

The project is dedicated to examining artworks priorly judged as questionable from the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s sculpture inventory. This pertains to all acquisitions after 1933 and all those that, according to the current status of research, entered the house at an uncertain point in time. The overall aim is to clarify the provenance of any object considered as questionable. Such cases in which the suspected confiscation as a result of persecution is confirmed, including those for which the provenance can be established only incompletely, are then uploaded on the

The establishment of the sculpture collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle and its systematic expansion is credited to the first director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Alfred Lichtwark (1852–1914). Today, scholarly support is being provided by the curators for specific collections, each responsible for particular periods. The entire inventory of statues, statuettes, busts and reliefs comprises around 490 objects, of which 443 are owned by the museum. Not included in the ongoing project are medals, badges and coins or plaster casts.   

Of these 443 sculptures and plastics, 336 have already been classified as having uncritical provenances. However, the origins of 107 objects – 102 were created before 1945 – have yet to be clarified.

In addition to acquisitions from art dealers and auctions as well as gifts from private persons or companies, the inventory comprises sculptures that entered the Hamburger Kunsthalle as transfers from the Cultural and Building Authority during the National Socialist era and after 1945. Considering the diversity of objects, it becomes clear that there are just as many different, individual provenances to be investigated. A particular research effort is required for sculptures that were created as editions or for works of which several copies were made, some at a later point in time. In this context, an exchange of information with institutions abroad and nationally, which are in possession of other variants and replicas, is provided for.