For the 2019–2020 period, the Federal Office of Culture once again awarded generous funding grants, which enable us to implement two additional projects in which we investigate the provenance of key sets of artworks among the holdings of the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel. The Gallery’s project builds on the previous scholarship on paintings and sculptures that changed hands during the Nazi era and now puts the focus on acquisitions of the postwar period (until 1962).
The project at the Department of Prints and Drawings is dedicated to an examination of more than 2,000 drawings that entered the collection between 1933 and 1945. In a preliminary stage, the works are digitized, the process made possible by generous funding support from the Karl and Sophie Binding Foundation. This involves a scholarly revision of the catalogue database and the creation of digital image files. The provenance project reviews the drawings in light of the inventory book, the files in the Kunstmuseum’s archive, and any available online resources and categorizes them in accordance with a grading scheme used by provenance researchers in Switzerland. This work will lay the foundations for subsequent in-depth investigation of the works’ provenance, should the need for such inquiries arise.
As with earlier projects, the findings of the two studies will be published via our Collection Online once the research has been completed.