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Werkcollege BA3 musea en collecties: Virtual Exhibition, The Lost Museum - Looting and Restitutions


Admission requirements

Completed first year (propedeuse) of the bachelor Art History or education at a similar level. Two successfully completed second year seminars (or the equivalent thereof). For Leiden University art history students: having successfully completed the excursion seminar to either Berlin or Florence.


In 2015, Matisse’s Seated Woman was returned to the heirs of the Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg. Rosenberg escaped the Nazis in 1940, but his collection of art was pillaged. Until his death in 1959, Rosenberg devoted his life trying to find about 400 paintings stolen by the Nazis. The Seated Woman was found among the paintings stashed by Cornelius Gurlitt in his Münich apartment, a collection that was only discovered in 2010.
The looting and destruction of art works in times of war is of all periods, yet never so systematically practiced as during World War II and the Nazi-regime. A large part of the stolen art is still missing. Museums are frequently faced with restitution claims. In this course, we will develop a virtual exhibition on the theme of looting and restitution, entitled The Lost Museum.

Course objectives

  • Being able to independently research an art historical topic; to critically review the relevant scholarly literature and primary sources; to present research results both in a presentation (15 mins) and a written report (c. 3000 words).

  • Being acquainted with exhibition practices and being able to identify the steps in putting together an exhibition.

  • Being able to select a topic and / or object related to the looting and restitution of artworks.

  • Being demonstrable skilled in formulating a research question and putting together a relevant bibliography.

  • Having practiced writing catalogue entries and texts.


The timetable is available on the Art History website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Lectures

  • Research

  • Excursion

Important: attendance in seminar sessions is mandatory! In case of no-show, the tutor should be informed about your absence prior to the actual seminar session. Moreover this course cannot be successfully completed by students that were absent more than twice. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment. See also the Course and Examination Regulations.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

24 hours: Lectures 24 hours: Preparation tutorials 10 hours: Tutoring 80 hours: Study of compulsory literature 132 hours: Assignment(s)

  • Other components: Excursions: 10 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral examination.

  • Abstract, oral presentation: 20% of Final Grade.

  • Take home examination.

  • Paper: 80% of Final Grade.

Compensation: The final mark for the course is established by (i) determination of the weighted average combined with (ii) additional requirements. The weighted average of all assessments should be at least 6.0.
Re-sit: One failed test (grade lower than 5.5) can be redone once. Re-sit for the presentation will be a separate assignment, to be determined by the Examination Committee.


Blackboard will be used throughout the course for announcement; literature; assignments; discussions.

Reading list

To be announced


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. M. Keblusek