Under lock and key?

On dealing with Nazi art in museums


Workshop in cooperation with Wien Museum


Registration requiered!



The legacy of National Socialism is often not visible in museum collections and goes far beyond what is commonly known as ‘looted art’. During the National Socialist era, many museums, through their acquisition policies and art dealings, expanded their collections, which were aligned with Nazi ideology—including art that explicitly conformed with the system and often remained in repositories after 1945. Also in the following decades, and up to this day, items with a Nazi history have found their way into museum collections through a variety of routes. There they are stored, often largely unnoticed and more or less under lock and key. Is that a good thing?

The workshop takes this question as its point of departure and wishes to spark a debate on how these kinds of collections can be dealt with today and in the future. This raises a number of fundamental questions: Should these items be deaccessioned or kept in repositories, and should donations be accepted or rejected? In what way would it be possible to present such collections in exhibitions, if at all? How much contextualisation is required, and how difficult is it in terms of design to avoid the problem of aesthetically or emotionally charging the items? By looking at several museums, we would like to consider the responsibility museums have for dealing with the presence of the Nazi era in their collections and discuss the ethical and design challenges involved in showing Nazi art.






Organisers of the workshop

Teresa Mocharitsch, Researcher, University of Graz (A)
Eva Tropper, Management Team, Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (A)



Vienna (A), hybrid



€190, reduced fee €140*

*The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.


Registration and info
Museumsakademie Joanneum

T +43 (0) 664/8017-9537


Please register via e-mail or registration form.

Museumsakademie Joanneum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-664/8017-9537