Studio Michael Satter


How did ancestor figures from Nias off the western coast of Sumatra enter the European art market in the early twentieth century? Why could the museum buy objects rather ‘cheaply’ in Paris and Amsterdam in the early 1940s? Is a weapon belt from South Africa war booty? These are just some of the questions arising from a critical review of the Weltkulturen Museum’s collection. For many of the museum’s objects, their provenance remains vague with hardly any written records documenting their acquisition. To specifically address these issues, the exhibition “Collected. Bought. Looted?” presents a number of case studies to highlight collecting practices in the colonial context and under the Nazi regime. The histories of these objects clearly underline the importance of a long-term analysis of the museum’s own collection history. At the same time, the exhibition shows the limits often encountered when reconstructing the acquisition of museum objects and how, in many cases, the further questions raised remain unanswered. This exhibition is part of a cooperation with the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Museum Judengasse, the Museum Angewandte Kunst and the Fritz-Bauer-Institut which are opened their own exhibitions on this topic in May and June 2018.

General informations:
• Client: Weltkulturen Museum
• Exhibition design concept: Michael Satter
• Graphic design: Michael Satter 
• Curators: Julia Friedel and Vanessa von Gliszczynski
• Authors: Julia Friedel and Vanessa von Gliszczynski
• Photography: Peter Wolff
• Year: 2018

Technical informations:
• Format: A3 Sheets
• Typeface: Modular Stencil, Lucida Typewriter
• Print: Xerox