“Special Collections” of Far Eastern Art in Moscow Museums: Displaced Art and Unraveling the Legacy of the Second World War


ACLS Fellowship Program


Russian and Eurasian Studies and Japan Centre

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


The Pushkin Museum in Moscow maintains thousands of objects of Chinese and Japanese art removed from Germany in 1945. Until recently, the existence of these holdings was denied, and the art was stored in the original crates practically unopened. This project involves assessing, identifying, and tracing the origins of pieces in the “special collections” of Japanese art. The majority of this displaced art probably came from Berlin’s Museum for East Asian Art, which lost more than 90% of its collections to the Red Army expropriation. The immediate result of the study is a compilation of the list of holdings and its publication, followed by an exhibition (ideally with the German side) returning this lost art to public view.