Information on Borrowing Works of Art

The Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) has the task of preserving the cultural assets entrusted to it and caring for them with regard to historical, artistic, horticultural, and conservation concerns while also making these assets available to a broad public. To realize this goal the SPSG also supports exhibition projects of other museums and similar types of facilities and institutions by making works of art available as loans. In fulfilling its special responsibility and duty of care, the SPSG must exclude some works of art from the loan process. The Index List provides information about the works of art that are generally not available for loan.

The opportunity to borrow works of art of art historical or cultural-historic importance for retrospective or thematic exhibitions is taken advantage of with increasing frequency. In order to fulfill its chief responsibilities of preserving and caring for the unique works entrusted to it, the SPSG must ensure that the relevant departments have adequate time to review a loan request and to properly prepare a loan.

General Guidelines and Information Regarding Loan Requests

1. Application Deadlines


1.1 A written loan application is to be made to the SPSG, addressed to its general director or the director of the Schlösser und Sammlungen (Palaces and Collections) by the director of the museum or institution making the request no less than 9 months prior to the opening of the exhibition (with a shorter deadline of at least 6 months only possible in exceptional cases, with justification by the borrowing institution).


Advance information and professional level discussions with curators or conservator-restorers are not binding and do not release the borrowing institution from the official application deadlines, which must be punctually observed.


Eventual addenda to punctual loan requests are only possible for individual works of art if there is sufficient time to process the request. Individual additions to the initial loan request must be made at the latest 4 months before the loan period begins and will not be considered thereafter.


Orders for photographs for exhibition publications and all types of reproductions must allow a reasonable processing time of 6 months and are to be made separately from the loan application – to the SPSG Dokumentations- und Informationszentrum (Documentation and Information Department, see point 2.3.)

2. Loan Requests


Loan requests should describe the requested loan as precisely as possible, listing at least the artist and the title of the work.


Basic information about the exhibition project must also be provided:

  • The event organizer, the borrowing institution, and the responsible legal entity
  • The title of the exhibition and its location (address, precise description)
  • The dates of the exhibition (Light-sensitive works of art, such as graphics and textiles, may be exhibited for a maximum of 12 weeks in line with conservation concerns.)
  • A contextualized introduction of the exhibition project and goals (brief conceptual exposé)
  • Names of the responsible contact persons: exhibition curator, registrar, supporting conservator or restorer (telephone, fax, email)
  • Exhibition conditions and local setting (facility report)
  • Planned publications (exhibition catalogue and other accompanying releases).

Any type of reproduction requires prior approval. Requests for permission to use photographs and reproductions are to be made punctually, with reference to the loan request, to the:

Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
Abteilung Schlösser und Sammlungen
Dokumentations- und Informationszentrum / Fotothek
Postfach 60 14 62
14414 Potsdam

3. Loan Procedures


Cost-free processing of loan requests can generally only occur under compliance with the deadlines listed in 1.1. Special expenditures and deviations can make a processing fee necessary.


The SPSG will promptly inform the loan applicant of its receipt of the loan request. This is not binding and implies no agreement to make a loan.


The decision about a loan and its conditions is made by the director of the Schlösser und Sammlungen (Palaces and Collections) after the loan request has been assessed by the relevant departments and will be communicated to the applicant separately. In view of the widespread network of properties and the extremely varied locations of the works of art, borrowers should plan on a processing time of about 4 months.


All costs and expenditures resulting from the loan will be borne by the borrower. These include, among other things:

  • Transportation costs, including the intermediate transportation and storage before and after the loan, which may be advanced or postponed based on the conservational requirements and particular conditions within the palaces;
  • Costs for professional packaging custom-fit to the works of art, including their packing.
  • Courier costs (delivery and return transportation, overnight stays, and all other occurring costs);
  • Insurance coverage, which the lender will register through his general policy;
  • Costs for conservation or restoration measures that are necessary for the loan that cannot be carried out by the SPSG.

The SPSG does not lend works of art to traveling exhibitions. In the case of an eventual exception, loan requests are to be made as previously described for the individual venues by each local institution.


On principle, the SPSG only concludes contracts with the respective borrower and does not accept traveling exhibition or third party contracts. The SPSG loan contracts inform the borrower about the general contract terms and provide a detailed description of all binding transportation, exhibition, and, where applicable, special conditions with which the borrower must comply.


In the case of the borrower's unauthorized deviations from contractual stipulations, the SPSG reserves the right to immediately cancel the contract without compensation, and in the case of ongoing loans to demand the immediate return of the loan(s). The borrower is solely responsible for all arising costs or any that may have been incurred.


If a loan does not occur following the conclusion of a contract and the SPSG is not responsible for the reason, compensation for the expenses incurred and for services already provided can be charged to the borrower independent of a contract cancellation and the costs resulting from it.


Dr. Samuel WittwerSPSG | Department Palaces and CollectionsDirector of Palaces and Collections
Postfach 60 14 62
14414  Potsdam, Germany
Fax: +49 (0) 331.96 94-104
Ute WeickardtSPSG | Abteilung Schlösser und SammlungenLeiterin Fachbereich Leihverkehr
Postfach 60 14 62
14414  Potsdam