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 launched on the 1st March 2013, auction catalogues published between 1901 and 1929 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are for the first time being identified. An index of all catalogues will form 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.

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, already over 3.200 auction catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria have been indexed, digitized and made available online. OCR processing has provided searchable full texts, which have been integrated into the Getty Provenance Index®. 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.


Maria Effinger: „German Sales“. Zukünftig auch eine Quellenbasis zum Kunsthandel der Moderne? Stand und Entwicklung, Vortrag und Podiumsdiskussion beim "Fachforum Kunsthandel der Moderne in Berlin.
Quellen, Forschung, Perspektiven", 23.11.2018, Berlinische Galerie / Museum für Moderne Kunst, Berlin

Foyerausstellung „German Sales 1901 – 1929“ in der Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Eröffnung am 4. Juli 2018 um 18 Uhr
Laufzeit: 5. Juli 2018 bis 5. September 2018
Ort: Foyer EG, Kunstbibliothek, Matthäikirchplatz 6, 10785 Berlin

New Project from the German Research Foundation
Within the context of the new project “Art – Auctions – Provenances. The German Art Trade as Reflected in Auction Catalogues from 1901 to 1929“ financed by the German Research Foundation the portal „German Sales“ is being expanded. It now provides access to auction catalogues from 1901 to 1945.

Bibliography of auction catalogues published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland 1930-1945


Missing catalogues - request for aid

"German Sales 1930-1945" is a partner of the International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property

What you can find where?

In you have access to about 8.600 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 250.000 data sets on paintings, drawings or sculptures from around 3.000 German language auction catalogues from 1930-1945. It, furthermore, provides a detailed search function as well as additional information on prices, buyers etc.

Funded by: