Hu.D. 5970

Chinese Lacquer Panel - Collection Huis Doorn

Topstukken-presse-papier-huis doorn

Presse-papier  -  Collection Huis Doorn

Symposium 'The Last german Emperor's colonial Art'
Saturday 23rd March 2024

On Saturday the 23rd of March 2024, Museum Huis Doorn will host a symposium focused on colonial art belonging to the last German emperor Wilhelm II. The symposium will be held in English.

Provenance Research
In line with a broader development in the cultural sector, Museum Huis Doorn in cooperation with Utrecht University, started investigating the origins and provenance of parts of its collection with possible links to colonial history.   

Invaluable Chinese Lacquer Panels
During this investigation, unexpected stories came to light regarding the German imperial family, German colonial policy and even the First World War. As an example of this we uncovered the stories behind a series of invaluable Chinese lacquer panels straight from the Forbidden City in Bejing. We were even able to uncover the identity of a unknown African colonial soldier.

International Speakers
The list of speakers for the symposium will consist of a number of renowned experts from the museum world, such as representatives from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, but also of the ambassador of Germany to the Netherlands: Dr. Cyrill Nunn, as well as the Namibian ambassador to the Benelux: Dr. Mekondjo Kaapanda-Girnus.

Saturday the 23rd of March 2024, 1.00-6.00 PM

12:30: Walk in
13:00: Start

Moderator: Dr. Joep Schenk (Assistant professor International Political History, Utrecht University)

  • General welcome
    Drs. Herman Sietsma (Director-Manager, Museum Huis Doorn)

  • The policy for collections from a colonial context: more than restitution
    Barbera Wolfensberger (Director-General Culture and Media, ministry of OCW)

    I: Provenance research, How invisible history is made visible again

  • Presentation provenance research and accompanying new book:
    The Kaiser's Colonial Worldview

    Dr. Britta Schilling (associate professor postcolonial History, Utrecht University)
  • The process behind the provenance research in two case-studies
    Annelore de Kruif BA (student-researcher, Museum Huis Doorn)
    (Jan Eise Kuipers BA (assistant-curator, Museum Huis Doorn)
  • Trends in Postcolonial Provenance Research in Germany – Memory Politics and Methodologies
    Dr. Julia Binter (junior professor Critical Museum and Heritage Studies, Bonn University)

    14.30-14:50: Break

    II: Two examples from two museums, stories from Beijing to Berlin

  • The Last German Emperor Wilhelm II and his Chinese Art Objects
    Dr. Ching-Ling Wang (curator of Chinese Art, Rijksmuseum

  • The Emperor, Berlin Palace and German Colonialism
    Dr. Alfred Hagemann (Head history of the site department Berliner Stadtschloss, Humboldt Forum)

    III: The current importance and implications of colonial heritage

  • How Germany deals with its colonial past
    Dr. Cyrill Nunn (German ambassador to the Netherlands)

  • The Role of Museums in Confronting and Reconciling Colonial Pasts: A Namibian Perspective
    Dr. Mekondjo Kaapanda (Namibian ambassador to the Benelux and the European Union)

    General Conclusion
    (Dr. Joep Schenk)

    17:00-18:00: Drinks

Practical Information

Date and Time:
Saturday the 23rd of March, 13.00-18.00

Utrecht University Academy Building Domplein 29

More information Academy Building


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