The Obligation of Ownership

Anonymous, Adoration, ca. 1520, mixed media on wood, Zeppelin-Museum, Friedrichshafen

The Zeppelin-Museum takes a critical look at the history of its art collection in the current exhibition “Eigentum verpflichtet” (The Obligation of Ownership). The exhibition endeavors to represent the networks through which art works were dealt and ended up in its collection in the period after WWII. The agents in these networks were often the same people who dealt with looted and expropriated art during the Regime, for which this “Adoration” by an unknown artist serves as an example. The museum questions the right to ownership not only in reference to the Nazi-period, but critically examines its whole collection and points out the significance of provenance research in order to identify work of dubious origin.

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