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History of collections: making, reconstruction and interpretation

The course discusses collections and the concept of collections in relation to art-historical objects. In addition, the course explores the concept of historical provenance and discusses scientific methods for the reconstruction and understanding of this concept.

The course provides in-depth knowledge relating to the art market of the past and the present, with a particular focus on the flow of the art object from its original context, via the market, to an institution. In addition, the course discusses the role of historical documentation for the understanding of older collections and the various archive typologies used in the reconstruction of historical collections. Finally, the course provides in-depth knowledge of art-historical and interdisciplinary methods for reconstructing and understanding historical collections as a whole.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures, seminars and study visits. The language of instruction is English.


    The course is examined on the basis of written assignments in the form of a take-home examination and a written paper.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact

    Students Affairs Office
    Study Councellor Art History