Where do the objects in our Judaica collection come from?

Provenance Research at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

In 1987, the city council decided to give the remaining objects from the Museum of Jewish Antiquities maintained in the Historical Museum of Frankfurt to the new Jewish Museum, which opened its doors in 1988. The Jewish Museum also received the Judaica holdings the Historical Museum had acquired after World War II. The total of around 100 objects formed the foundation of the new museum’s Judaica Collection.

Until the 2000s, the Jewish Museum proceeded to acquire additional ceremonial objects at auctions and from art dealers. The museum also received objects from collectors such as Ignatz Bubis, Josef Buchmann and Siegfried Baruch.

Since May 2018, the provenance of the Judaica objects has become the subject of a two-year research project supported by the German Lost Art foundation (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste). The research is focused on the history both of the objects and their previous owners. The core of the project consists in reconstructing the theft and expropriation committed between 1933 and 1945.

Prior to reopening the Jewish Museum on October 21, 2020, the project will dedicate its research to those objects to be displayed in the new permanent exhibition whose provenance between 1933 and 1945 had not been fully accountable. Moreover, the research findings have been incorporated into the online collection and published regularly on this website.

Our contact person for the research project about the provenance of our Judaica: