Course Schedule

Veranstaltungen von Fabio Mariani


Digital Gurlitt: Curating Museum Data of a „Nazi Art Treasure“ (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Fabio Mariani, Lynn Rother

14-täglich | Donnerstag | 14:00 - 17:30 | 27.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | HMS D19

Inhalt: In November 2014, the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland received a rather unusual bequest: a collection of 1,600 paintings, drawings, and graphic works by 19th- and 20th-century artists such as Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Just a year earlier, this collection featured prominently on the cover of the German news magazine Focus under the title "The Nazi Treasure. Sensational discovery after 70 years" and has been making international headlines ever since. The collection and its discovery became a public scandal because customs authorities found the works in the Munich apartment and other homes of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt—one of Hitler's official art dealers. As the collection had been assembled during the National Socialist era, there was immediate suspicion that it contained works that had been looted from Germans of Jewish origin and now had to be returned to the previous owners or their heirs. In the meantime, almost nine years later, nine works have been restituted to the rightful owners, millions of euros have been spent on researching the history of the objects, and the Kunstmuseum Bern has published all the research data on its website earlier this year. In our course, we will use this exemplary dataset as a starting point to understand the possibilities and limitations of curating museum and cultural heritage data. What does it mean to transform complex historical information from analog to digital? From free text to structured, machine-readable, or even Linked Open Data? Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques help to overcome Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks and assist with the laborious transformation of large unstructured datasets? With a focus on provenance, that is, the history of objects, we will also explore data analysis and visualization methods using tools such as maps and timelines. The course will have theoretical and practical parts. The course is part of the teaching program of the Provenance Lab, a unique research and teaching hub for experimental knowledge production at the intersection of provenance research and data science, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) and Leuphana University. See our blog here