The stake is burning. In "Ways of World Wisdom" Anselm Kiefer randomly combines 17 historical personalities with shellac lines. It is a portrait gallery of German intellectual history in the form of a woodcut collage that includes poets and thinkers as well as political and military personalities. The title, painted in children's script, refers to the Battle of Hermann, the battle in the Teutoburg Forest that ended victoriously for the Germanic tribes. Under the name of Arminius of the Cherusci tribe, their leader advanced to become a German national hero. Kiefer is far from merely depicting history; he is interested in the appropriation of the event by National Socialism. The reflection of his own history is an essential aspect of Kiefer's art, which, beginning in the 1970s, traces the spiritual roots of the Third Reich in German cultural history.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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