German Sales 1901-1945

Within the scope of the project “Art – Auctions – Provenances. The German Art Trade as Reflected in Auction Catalogues from 1901 to 1929“, which was carried out from 1st March 2013 to 31th March 2019, auction catalogues published between 1901 and 1929 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been identified for the first time. An index of all catalogues forms the basis for further quantitative evaluation, for digitization as well as for making them available online free of charge. The auctions catalogues are the foundation for research on art-trade in the first third of the 20th century, on queries regarding collectors, on the development of taste as well as on single artists and genres. Moreover, they provide an ideal tool for research on provenances. The auction catalogues are scattered over numerous art and museum libraries, but now they are easily findable and searchable through a centralized resource.

Refined search functions including a full text search have improved the accessibility to material which up until now has been difficult to access. The Heidelberg University Library and The Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin are partner in this project which is financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) until spring 2019. Until today 5.950 catalogues have been made available online.

Within the international cooperation project “German Sales 1930-1945. Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy”, which was completed at the end of February 2013, over 3.200 auction catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria were indexed, digitized and made available online. OCR processing has provided searchable full texts, which have been integrated into the Getty Provenance Index®. With the addition of catalogues from 1901-1929, the Getty Provenance Index now provides bibliographic information on over 8,000 catalogues and content records for paintings, drawings, and sculptures listed in 5,000 of these catlogues. Further information can be found on The Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin as well as the Getty Research Institute were partners in this project.

Since March 2013 indispensible sources for research into the arts and social sciences dealing with the German art market from 1930 to 1945, as well as provenance research, are provided and made accessible to the public in a manner that is easily researchable in and in the Getty Provenance Index®. The project was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation), the National Endowment for the Humanities and the VolkswagenStiftung.


Half a Million Records on Early 20th-Century German Art Market Added to Getty Provenance Index

After four years of work, the Getty Provenance Index® has added nearly 570,000 records of artwork sales for the years 1900 to 1929 to give researchers in provenance and the art market unprecedented information on auction sales in Germany and Austria during the volatile years of the early twentieth century, including the periods of World War I, the Weimar Republic, and the years of politically sanctioned Nazi looting prior to and during World War II.

These new records represent individual auction sales records for paintings, sculptures, drawings, and miniatures recorded in over 8,700 German sales catalogs published between 1900 and 1929. Each record is linked to the full PDF of its corresponding catalog on the website of the Heidelberg University Library.

The new release brings the total number of records of German and Austrian art sales in the Provenance Index to just over 830,000 individual items, all of which can be searched in the Getty Provenance Index®.

What you can find where?

In you have access to about 9.600 auction catalogues, sorted by auction houses, as well as the possibility to search the full texts of the entire digitized material.

At present, the Getty Provenance Index® provides access to more than 831.700 data sets on paintings, drawings or sculptures from around 5.000 German language auction catalogues from 1901-1945. It, furthermore, provides a detailed search function as well as additional information on prices, buyers etc.

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