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TEAA - Tracing East Asian Art

Unterseite einer Schale der Song-Dynastie | Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Dauerleihgabe der The MCH Foundation, Hammonds Collection


The projects of the research area TEAA - Tracing East Asian Art investigate the western market for Chinese, Japanese and Korean art in the first hundred years after the opening of East Asia (1842-1945). TEAA works closely with national and international museums on provenance research. Founded in 2017, the Provenance Research Network on East Asian Objects, which brings together museum experts and scholars, meets once a year in Berlin.


Contact:   Christine Howald



Imperial looted art from China on the European art market


After the looting of the Beijing Summer Palace by British and French troops in October 1860, objects from the imperial collection entered the European art market on a large scale for the first time and subsequently entered private and public collections. In the project, the sales of these objects at Paris and London auctions in the 1860s are recorded and evaluated: Which properties were offered? Who was the previous owner? Who bought them? And at what cost? 



Christine Howald / Léa Saint-Raymond: Tracking Dispersal: Auctions Sales from the Yuanmingyuan Loot in Paris in the 1860s, in: Journal for Art Market Studies 2 (2018).


Christine Howald, The Power of Provenance. Marketing and Pricing of Chinese Looted Art on the European Market (1860-1862), in: Bénédicte Savoy, Charlotte Guichard, Christine Howald (eds.), Acquiring Cultures. Histories of World Art on Western Markets, Berlin/Boston 2018, p. 241-259.        



Estate of Ernst Grosse


The ethnologist Ernst Grosse (1862-1927) from Freiburg built up an important collection of East Asian art at the end of the 19th century with the financial support of Marie Meyer (1833-1915) from Hamburg. Grosse made his acquisitions mainly on the Parisian art market and in East Asia itself. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of scientific discourse on art from the Far East in Germany. He also influenced the genesis of the Berlin Collection of East Asian Art in many ways. In his diaries and letters he reported on art purchases and works of art and embeds them in the historical context of his time. In this project, his diaries in his private estate are transcribed and scientifically evaluated for the first time. 


Team members:

Mei Hau-Kunzi

Jenny Fischer-Falckenberg





In cooperation with Dr. Alexander Hofmann of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), students of the Institute under the direction of Dr. Christine Howald researched the provenance of selected museum objects in the winter semester 2017/2018. The students first examined the objects themselves for collector markings and then researched the origin of the objects in Berlin and international archives. The results were presented on 13 February 2018 at an evening event of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst (German Society for East Asian Art) at the Museum of Asian Art.


Further information on the seminar can be found here.





Workshop | Network  meeting: 'Pillage is formally prohibited..': Provenenance Research on East Asian Art #3, organized by Dr. Alexander Hofmann, Dr. Christine Howald, Prof. Dr. Nick Pearce, Venue: Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 08.-09. November 2019 CfP - Programm



ProvenienzLab: Provenienzforschung zu ostasiatischen Objekten #2, venue: Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 23.-24. November 2018

Panel Discussion on "Asian Art: Markets, Provenance, History", at the occasion of the launch of the latest Journal for Art Market Studies and the Finissage of the exhibition "German sales 1901-1929", Berlin, Art Library, 5. September 2018, 6pm.



Provenienzforschung zu ostasiatischer Kunst. Herausforderungen und Desiderata, Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Kunstgeschichte und Historische Urbanistik​, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin 13.-14. Oktober 2017 Flyer

Audiomitschnitt des Workshops
Interview auf dem Blog des SMB



„All the Beauty of the World. The Western Market for non-European Artefacts in 18th-20th Century“

International Symposium

Berlin, 13.-15. October 2016

Further Information (Forum Kunst und Markt)
Call for Papers (PDF, 589,6 KB)
Videos of Conference Presentations (Gerda Henkel Stiftung)
Final Podium Discussion (Inforadio)
Radio Interview with Bénédicte Savoy (Deutschlandradio Kultur)




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