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Research project: Russian Avant-Garde at the Museum Ludwig – Original and Fake.
Questions, Research, Explanations

In 2011, Peter and Irene Ludwig’s collection of Russian avant-garde art was bequested to the Museum Ludwig. Research into this extensive and unique collection began shortly before.
The series of projects dealing with this part of the collection began with research into the Cubo-Futurism movement and into Kazimir Malevich and Suprematism, with presentations and discussions in exhibitions, catalogues, and symposia from 2009 to 2011.
In addition to art historical research, various art technological examinations were also carried out at the time to examine the works of Kazimir Malevich in terms of material analysis.

Because the Russian avant-garde is badly affected by forgeries, the museum began investigating the collection with regard to its authenticity. Six hundred and thirty works are held in the Museum Ludwig, one hundred of which are paintings. Half of these were examined with regard to art history and provenance, analysis of style, and art technology.

The first findings of the examinations will be presented in a studio exhibition at the Museum from September 26, 2020 until January 3, 2021. In a scientific symposium on November 6/7, 2020, international experts on the Russian avant-garde from a variety of disciplines will discuss the phenomenon of forgery in this sphere and share their findings and experience.

The research team:
The Museum Ludwig collaborates with international colleagues from a range of fields with regard to investigating the authenticity of the collection

  • Curators: Rita Kersting, Deputy Director, Petra Mandt, conservator of paintings
  • Meike Deilmann, Scientific Documentation Museum Ludwig
  • Prof. Dr. Konstantin Akinsha, art historian, Russian Avant-garde Research Project and Visiting Fellow, Max Weber Kolleg, Erfurt
  • Dr. Maria Kokkori, conservator at the Department of Conservation Science, The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Dr. Jilleen Nadolny, Art Analysis & Research, London
  • Dr. Anne Sicken, chemist, Institute of Conservation Sciences at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne
  • Ulrik Runeberg, restorer, Restaurierungszentrum der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
  • Dr. Friederike von Brühl (M.A.), art historian and legal expert, KL Gates, Berlin
  • Dr. Susanne Lindauer, Curt-Engelhorn-Centre of Archaeometry, Mannheim


  • Peter und Irene Ludwig Foundation
  • Russian Avant-garde Research Project
  • Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation
  • Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und des Museum Ludwig
  • ZEIT-Foundation Gerd und Ebelin Bucerius
  • Gerda Henkel Foundation
  • Fritz Thyssen-Foundation
  • Beatrix Lichtken Foundation

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