Research projects


Current projects

Forschung Zenobueste Detail

In addition to collecting, preserving and mediating art, the traditional core activities of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum are made up of the research in art and cultural history of Bavaria. Further key areas of focus are provenance research and projects on art technology. After all, the museums current exhibitions always reflect the results of scientific work.

The Silver Restitution Project

The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum is working on the restitution of 111 objects from the silver confiscation imposed on German Jews in 1939 to descendants of the last legitimate owners. The current project "Search for Heirs to Silver Objects Confiscated in 1939 and now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum", which runs to 2023, is funded by the German Lost Art Foundation and the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art.

NEU Projekt Erbensuche D103737

"White gold"

The Meissen Porcelain Collection Catalogue

The scholarly research encompasses the collections of Böttger stoneware and Böttger porcelain (72 objects) and Meissen porcelain with house painter decorations – in particular by the Aufenwerth and Seuter families of Augsburg (63 objects) – belonging to the Meissen Porcelain Collection Ernst Schneider Foundation located at Lustheim Palace. In addition to recording this part of the collection, the planned inventory catalogue will also include the life and achievements of the collector Dr Ernst Schneider.
The project is supported by the Edith Haberland Wagner Foundation, Munich.


Dr. Katharina Hantschmann

Katalog Meissen D176335

Excellent Ivories

Scientific Catalogue on Ivories

The project of a scientific catalogue of the ivory collection of the 16th to 18th centuries comprises the research on about 280 objects by some 70 artists from the ivory collection of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. These include figurative ivories (statuettes, groups of figures, reliefs, and tankard vessels) as well as turned ivories, which are on display in the museum's permanent exhibition and at the Kunstkammer of Burg Trausnitz, the branch museum in Landshut. The planned catalogue will be supplemented by an scientific essay on the history of the Munich ivory collection.
The project is funded by the Eleonore Schamberger Foundation and the Reiner Winkler Foundation.

Bestandskatalog Elfenbein D34386

Painting in wood

The graphic collection of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum contains prints and hand drawings from the end of the 14th century to the early 20th century and numbers around 12,000 sheets. The project of conservation and cataloguing of the graphic collection includes the processing of the historical core of the collection with more than 2200 sheets from the estate of the architect Adalbert Sickinger. A unique collection from the early 16th century consists of 30 gouaches on parchment by Hans Mielich. The aim of the project is to catalogue, conserve, digitise and thus popularise the collection.
The project is supported by the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation, the Eleonora Schamberger Foundation and the Bauer Baroque Foundation.


Restaurierungsabteilung des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums

Grafik Projekt Fotografievorrichtung

The History of Jewish Schooling

A New Concept at the Bavarian School Museum

The section on the history of Jewish schooling in the Bavarian School Museum in Ichenhausen, a branch museum of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, is being renewed. Following an introduction to teacher training, an excursion on school history of Ichenhausen and a presentation of the different types of school systems, the previous exhibition culminated, seemingly quite inevitably, in the years following 1933 leading up to the Holocaust. But the history of Jewish schooling is more than that.
The question is: What should be presented in the new permanent exhibition and, above all, how should it be presented? After all, in many cases the material culture of Jewish education is no different from that of other denominations. With the support of and in discourse with scholars from Jewish museums and the academic field, the project is developing a new, innovative concept for the presentation of Jewish educational history in Bavaria in museums up to the present.

The Bayerische Schulmuseum Ichenhausen is a branch museum of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.


Dr. Angelika Schuster-Fox

Juedisches Schulbuch

Provenance research

D103742 Silber fuer das Reich

Between 1933 and 1945, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum acquired more than 5,000 objects, and another 70,000 objects were added after 1945. The museum was one of the first in Germany to take on the task of researching problematic aspects of its history and making them public. In the 1960s, around 700 works from Nazi possessions were transferred to the museum. These items are the focus of the investigation into their origins. The additions from Nazi holdings can be viewed online. We regularly proactively seek contact with aggrieved parties in order to return works to their rightful owners.


Acquisition records 1933–1945 online

BNM ZJ 1934 1950 Detail

With the support of the Ministry of Science and Art, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum has published its aquisition records from 1933 to 1950 online.

The inventory records have been published on the website of the Forschungsverbund Provenienzforschung Bayern (FPB) (the Bavarian network for provenance research) to facilitate the identification of Nazi looted art in the museum's holdings. It lists the circumstances of access to works of art that came to the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in the period between 1933 and 1950. Not every acquisition during this period (purchase, donation/endowment, bequest, exchange, etc.) has an unlawful, violence- or persecution-related context.
For data protection reasons, redactions had to be carried out in some places.

Zugangsbücher (externer Link)
Maske zitat

Research in the museum involves the scientific treatment of objects, groups of objects and object contexts.

Deutscher Museumsbund
Hafnerarchiv 1


German Pottery Archive

Founded in 1975, the German Pottery Archive at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum documents source material and literature on the ceramics production in Europe classified into regional and subject catalogues. It also contains a card index of master craftsmen and objects as well as a number of Late Medieval and Early Modern craft regulations. As a special collection, it houses part of the historic archive of Paul Stieber, the pioneer of modern ceramics research in Germany.


Silberarchiv 1 D55707


Archive on Augsburg Goldsmiths' Art

In 1991 and 2010, the Munich art historian and art dealer Dr Helmut Seling (1921-2016) donated to the Bavarian National Museum his Archive on Augsburg Goldsmiths' Art, which he had compiled over decades of research. It formed the basis for the monographs and catalogues of works and marks on the "Art of the Augsburg Goldsmiths 1529-1868" published in 1980, 1994 and 2007. The archive, which has been further expanded in the museum, includes an extensive photo library and specialist library as well as extracts from archives and comprehensive documentation on the masters working in Augsburg and the hall and master marks use.