Lunchbox Lecture with Dr. Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz: Where do the missionary collections come from? Provenance initial check in the museum of Werl
CERES Palais, room "Ruhrpott" (4.13)
Dr. Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz will be our guest at CERES and will give a lecture as part of the project "mission history collections". She will present her project "Provenance Check at the Werl Museum" in a Lunchbox Lecture from 12.00-1.45 pm.
The Forum der Völker in Werl, a Franciscan mission museum, is not only the largest anthropological museum in Westphalia, but also the largest collection among some 80 such religious collections from the mission areas in Germany. The collection goes back to the Mission Museum in the Franciscan monastery in Dorsten, which was opened in 1913. Objects from the mission areas were used for missionary training.
Now, the collection of the museum, which was opened in Werl in 1962 and comprises more than 14,000 objects, is being examined with regard to sensitive colonial-era object holdings. An initial provenance check is being carried out to determine whether there could be any unlawful acquisition circumstances or unlawful contexts. The collection holdings from Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas include items from the colonial period, but also come from post-colonial contexts, the art trade, and estates. The research project lays the foundation for a possible deeper provenance research on object histories and offers a first orientation regarding the handling of objects of mission history.
Mai Lin Tjoa-Bonatz, art historian (Dr. phil. 2001, Technical University Darmstadt) conducts a provenance initial check at the Museum, Forum der Kulturen, in Werl. She was an advisor to the Directorate of the National Museums in Berlin, at the Ethnological Museum and Museum of Asian Art in the Humboldt Forum. She also teaches at various universities on the culture and history of Southeast Asia in Germany and abroad: currently at Humboldt University Berlin, and previously as a visiting professor at the National University of the Philippines. She has been involved in excavation projects in Syria and Indonesia. As a curator, she has worked in exhibition projects on mission history, maritime heritage, toys or ancient gold.