AC/CFP: « Museums under National Socialism », Berlin, Deutsches Historisches Museum, 13-15.06.2013. Deadline: Jun 20, 2012

Not until a few years ago did museums in Germany begin to intensively investigate their own history as institutions under the National Socialist regime.

The Richard-Schöne-Gesellschaft für Museumsgeschichte e.V. (Richard Schöne Society for the History of Museums e.V.) and the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin, are taking this recent development as an opportunity to convene a symposium on the history of museums during the time of National Socialism. Current research undertaken at universities or in museums on the topic will be brought together within this framework. The goal is to obtain new insights, based on the research results, about the function, development and importance of the museum as an institution during the Third Reich.

The conference has been consciously designed to cover a broad range of institutions: it will focus on museums of art or decorative arts as well as on natural science, ethnological, folk art, or local history museums – whether state or local collections, whether museums in Berlin, individual German regions, or areas occupied by Germany. The central issues of interest will be the following:
–    The political and administrative conditions for museum work (official goals, competencies, political intentions and plans of action, ordinances)
–    The museum actors (continuity or breaks in personnel history, National Socialist party membership, collaboration, resistance)
–    Collection practices (change of course/standstill, acquisition policy, new additions through confiscation, sales, elimination, losses,
rescue measures)
–    Conceptions of museum display   (museum buildings, interior design, display practices, partial closings, reorganizations of
–    Forms of propaganda (founding of museums, special exhibits, museum pedagogy, publications, advertising schemes, new media)
–    Museums in an international context (reception of German museums by  contemporary non-German art critics, channels/breakdown of international cooperation, reactions to/backlash against museum developments outside of Germany)
–    How museums dealt with their National Socialist history in the period directly after the war

These topics can be illuminated from a comparative perspective or as case studies. Not only reports of research already completed, but also accounts of research work-in-progress are particularly welcome.

The conference will take place June 13-15, 2013 in the DHM in Berlin.

The conference languages are German and English. Suggestions for lectures, with maximum 2,000 characters with spaces, and brief biographical information may be sent to: Please submit the proposals by June 20, 2012.

Source: H-ArtHist, Mar 18, 2012. <>.