This provenance research position is based at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s (VU) Faculty of Humanities, in collaboration with the National Museum of World Cultures (NMVW) and falls within the framework of the NWA project “Pressing Matter - Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums”, a collaborative, interdisciplinary project that responds to the growing contestation over what to do with the colonial heritage held in museums.
This research position will be part of the subproject Potentialities: Living with the Past (WP1) that explores the potentialities of colonial objects in museums for helping societies come to terms with the colonial past in the present. Working across the different work packages of the project, which asks questions around ownership, value and reconciliation, the researcher will conduct in-depth provenance research on selected objects within the collections from the different museum partners in the project.
While employed by the Vrije Universiteit, provenance researchers will work out of the Provenance Research Lab (PRL). The PRL will be located in the NMVW, and coordinated by dr. Henrietta Lidchi (NMVW) in collaboration with Ellen Grabowsky (NIOD). It will function as a commons and will gather the researchers, especially the junior scholars, from the work packages in a collaborative exchange environment. PRL will have structured workshops to share, test and compare data and research methods. Alongside sustained research on objects histories and their eligibility for restitution, the PRL will promote provenance research as a method to generate data and contribute to research agendas around histories of colonialism.Your duties
- undertake provenance research on collections in line with priorities and investigative strands in the different work packages and across museum collections
- use primary resources (archives, documentation, material culture) to construct the histories of collections both inside and outside institutional contexts
- interpretation and analysis of provenance findings in the context of the larger projects
- use provenance findings to understanding larger questions
- import findings into the TMS database (or other similar databases)
- draft reports on findings in consultation with project leaders and other researchers, sharing findings with a wider community of scholars, community members and artists
- contribute to the analytical and theoretical debate regarding provenance research inside and outside the project