Past Works. The Former Holdings of the Hamburger Kunsthalle

Fully understanding a collection, communicating it accordingly and drawing up a future-oriented collection policy also requires in-depth knowledge of the collection history (see also the criteria stated in the guidelines of the Deutsche Museumsbund for “Sustainable Collecting”). This includes taking into account past daily routines of a museum, which up until the post-war era consisted among others in sales transactions, bartering and deaccessions. The Hamburger Kunsthalle’s research project “Past Works” is the first to comprehensively and exemplarily re-assess works formerly held by the Kunsthalle. Categorizing them by passive or active modes of loss serves to reveal how their withdrawals have created shifts in the collection and thereby influenced the museum’s strategic focus regarding acquisitions. 2500 artworks have as yet been registered in the museum’s own database in the scope of the project, allowing provenance researchers – for research conducted on catalogue raisonnés – but also art dealers and other museums to transparently access and work with historical data on the respective works.

Collection online

Past Works

The Former Holdings of the Hamburger Kunsthalle
explore now