All research projects on art patronage and collecting in Russia and the Soviet Union, with one exception indicated below, were generously funded by Austria's main Research Fund, FWF.

1991-1994: Project No. P8550-HIS

From 1991 to 1994, FWF supported the initial study on bourgeois art patronage in Tsarist Russia (1850-1917) which, in 1996, resulted in the publication of the monograph "The Moscow Medici, 1850-1917", also financed by FWF.

1995-1998: Project No. P10795-HIS

From 1995-1998, FWF sponsored three one-year cases studies on art collecting in the USSR (1917-1985).

In both cases FWF covered travel expenses to Moscow and St. Petersburg.


From 1998-2001 funding for various research projects was provided by external sources – by the so-called "Jubilee Fund" of the Austrian National Bank, OeNB, by the research stipend of the municipality of Vienna, and, mostly, by a research grant from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Research and Arts (bm:bwk); the latter ran for two years. All of them contributed to the funding of a major study on the nationalization and sale of private art collections (1917-1938) that, in 2000, resulted in an international conference organized by Dr. Bayer in Vienna and later, in 2001, in a book publication.

2001-2004: Hertha Firnberg T 119-G06

From 2001-2004 FWF financed a three-year-long program (Hertha-Firnberg: T 119-G06) on the unofficial art market in the USSR, 1917-1991. Together with a generous travel grant, this position enabled the researcher to uncover an unprecedented amount of archival and other primary sources on the topic in over a dozen research sites – in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tallinn/Tartu, Vilnius/Kaunas, Riga, Kiev/Odessa, Yerevan, Almaty, to name but the most important ones.
FWF also provided the funds to finance research assistants in these places.

2004-2007: Project No. P17748-G07

A follow-up study to the Firnberg-position was approved in late 2004: The project "From Cultural to Economic Capital" received the support of Austria's main research fund; it is devoted to research on art collecting and patronage in the late USSR, Russia, the CIS and the Baltic States, from 1985 to the present.

2008-2011: Project No. P20474-G13

In December 2007 FWF approved funding on the project Post-Soviet Art Museums in the Era of Globalization, which started in early 2008. It covered a varied interdisciplinary program combining individual research in post-Soviet institutions with collective efforts (workshops, work sessions, an international conference, Graz University and Graz Kunsthaus). Much expertise was gained by interviewing post-Soviet museum experts and their international counterparts specializing in (post) Soviet art and museums.

2012-2016: Project No. P25079-G21

In 2012, funding for Creating Contem­porary Art Museums in the Post-Soviet Space, CCAM, was approved. CCAM was conceived as a follow-up study on the research carried out between 2008 and 2011 which focused on exemplary case studies as well as the overall changes post-Soviet museums went through in the wake of perestroika. CCAM analyzed the complex transformation of a wide range of contemporary art institutions emerging after the demise of communism. Drawing on the expertise of global cross-disciplinary museum and curatorial studies and based on a wealth of hitherto largely unknown archival and source material, the results of the research were discussed at an international symposium. In 2016, FWF financed a hybrid book publication; it was released in print in late 2016, in 2017 with the FWF-e-book-series (see publications).

2018-2022: Project No. P31388-G26

In 2018, funding for 'Russian Oligarch Art Museums and Foundations' was approved. Due to travel and work restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, the research project was prolonged cost-neutral until June 2022. Major findings were presented at an international symposium (see lectures and courses); all results were published in various open-access formats (see publications).


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