Prominent loan in Paris

Standbild TéléMatin France2 20190510 1

In the exhibition "Préhistoire, une énigme moderne" shown in Centre Pompidou in Paris from 8 May - 16 September 2019 two loans from the Frobenius Institute were also on display. The exhibition focuses on the close connection between prehistoric art and modernism.

The most important morning news in French television did not highlight the paintings by Picasso, Mirò or Klee etc., which were also shown in the exhibition, but rather the two large-format rock art copies that were created in 1929 during the Frobenius expedition to present-day Zimbabwe.

Die Mitglieder des Trägervereins des Frobenius-Instituts

Prof. Dr. Peter Breunig
Prof. Dr. Mamadou Diawara
Prof. Dr. Heike Drotbohm
Prof. Dr. Christian F. Feest
Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer
Prof. Dr. Anja Klöckner
Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack
Prof. Dr. Susanne Schröter
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Streck
Prof. Dr. Josef Franz Thiel
Prof. Dr. Katja Werthmann

Das Kuratorium des Frobenius-Instituts

Dr. Albrecht Fester, Kanzler der Goethe-Universität (Vorsitzender des Kuratoriums)
Frau Anja Steinhofer-Adam, Vertreterin des Hessischen Ministeriums für Wissenschaft und Kunst (stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Kuratoriums)
Prof. Dr. Martin Bartelheim, Vorsitzender des Wissenschaftlichen Beirates
Prof. Dr. Roland Hardenberg, Direktor des Frobenius-Institutes
Dr. Ina Hartwig, Kulturdezernentin der Stadt Frankfurt
Dr. Eberhard Mayer-Wegelin, Vorsitzender der Frobenius-Gesellschaft
Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff, Präsidentin der Goethe-Universität

Der wissenschaftliche Beirat des Frobenius-Instituts

Bartelheim 2Photo: Amanda Crain Prof. Dr. Martin Bartelheim (chairman) is Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen. His scientific interests lie in the archaeology of the Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages in Central Europe and the Mediterranean with special focus on the development of societies, economies and landscapes. Since 2013 he is the speaker of the Collaborative Research Centre 1070 ResourceCultures that undertakes interdisciplinary research into the socio-cultural dimensions of resource use. He has authored a book on "The role of metallurgy in Prehistoric societies" in 2007 and co-edited several books such as "Sociocultural Dynamics and the Use of Resources" (2017) and "Key resources and socio-cultural developments in the Chalcolithic of the Iberian Peninsula" (2017).
13012012PeterBergerFGG01Photo: Elmer Spaargaren

Prof. Dr. Peter Berger is Associate Professor of Indian Religions and the Anthropology of Religion at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen. He conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork among indigenous communities in highland Odisha, India (since 1996). His general interests in socio-cultural anthropology concern a) history, theory and methodology of anthropology; b) anthropology of religion (especially religious change, values, ritual, food); c) indigenous religions (especially in Central India). He is currently Head of the Department of Comparative Study of Religion and was visiting professor at the University of Zürich in 2012 and visiting fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Munich in 2015. His books include "Feeding, Sharing and Devouring: Ritual and Society in Highland Odisha, India" (de Gruyter 2015), and he co-edited "Ultimate Ambiguities: Investigating Death and Liminality" (Berghahn 2016), "The Modern Anthropology of India" (Routledge 2013) and "The Anthropology of Values" (Pearson 2010).

cropped Gingrich presentingPhoto: Mehmet Emir

Prof. Dr. Andre Gingrich is director of the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and since 2017 professor emeritus of the department for Social and Cultural anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Currently he is also member of the Publications Committee of the Austrian Academy of Science, the Committee on Ethical Standards of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Arts and Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, and fellow of “The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries”.
He conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Qatar, southern Burgenland districts of Austria, Tibet, Yemen, Saudi-Arabia and Syria.
He specializes in topics such as ethnicity, gender, concepts of identity, paradoxes of globalisation, intercultural and comparative analysis and history of anthropological theory formation and methodology in German-, English- and French-speaking-areas.
His recent publications include: “Visions of Community: Comparative Approaches to Medieval Forms of Identity in Europe and Asia”(2014, ed. with Christina Lutter, History&Anthropology 26) and “Southwest Arabia across History: Essays of the Menory of Walter Dostal” (2014, ed. with Siegfried Haas).

Kolleg 2b KopiePhoto: Felicitas von Lutzau

Prof. Dr. Vinzenz Hediger is Professor of Cinema Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt (Main), where he directs the Graduate Research Training Program "Configurations of Film". He obtained his PhD in film studies from the University of Zurich in 1999 and was Krupp foundation chair of documentary studies at Ruhr University Bochum from 2004, before moving to Frankfurt in 2011. His research focuses on film history, film theory and on marginal film forms, including research and science films. Recent publications include "Gene, Gehirn, Archiv. Über den Ort der menschlichen Natur im humanethologischen Filmarchiv" (in Zeitschrift für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie 2/2017). A collection of essays on science and film "Epistemic Screens. Science and Film", co-edited with Scott Curtis and Oliver Gaycken, is due out from Amsterdam University Press in 2019. He is a co-founder of NECS – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and the founding editor of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft. He is a member of the Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature and a Principal Investigator of the Cluster of Excellency "The Formation of Normative Orders".

Portrt SKD 2017 IMG 9005Photo: Fuji Bilder Center Münster








PD Dr. Sabine Klocke-Daffa is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies of Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen - Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. She holds a PhD from Muenster University on exchange relations among the Southern African Khoekhoen and a PD degree (habilitation/second PhD) from Tuebingen University on Applied Anthropology. Her research focuses on informal and formal social security systems, ritual exchange, cultural resources and public anthropology. She is coeditor of the book "Berufsorientierung für Kulturwissenschaftler" (2009). Recent publications include "Contested claims to social welfare: Basic income grants in Namibia" (2017), "Ressource Complexes, Networks, and Frames. The Sambatra in Madagascar" (2017), "'On the safe side of life': Cultural Appropriations of Funeral Insurances in Namibia" (2016) and "'My dad has 15 wives and 8 ancestors to care for'. Conveying anthropological knowledge to children and adolescents" (2015). Currently, she is editing a publication which intends to serve as a handbook for the newly established field of Applied Anthropology within German universities.

CROPPEDKrause 2016 Foto Barbara Voss K16Photo: Barbara Voss

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krause is professor of Prehistory at Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany.
Apart from his teaching activities, his work includes to a large extent archeological excavations, especially in the Urals (Russia), in the Montafon (Austria) and currently also in Sängersberg near Fulda (Germany).
After his doctorate on Early Bronze Age grave finds from Singen am Hohentwiel, Krause received a travel grant from the German Archaeological Institute and travelled to the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and the Near East.
Since 1987 he has worked for the Archaeological Monument Conservation Department in Stuttgart.
At the same time he habilitated with a thesis on archaeometallurgy.
Together with Svend Hansen, from 2016 to 2018 he was initiator and speaker of prehistory conflict research, which is part of the LOEWE-Research-Program funded by the state of Hessen (Germany).
Fortifications and the formation of hierarchical structures during the Bronze Age belong to his personal focuses.

LeppinPhoto: Uwe Dettmar








Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin is professor of Ancient History at Goethe University Frankfurt (Main). His current research concerns cultural and religious entanglements in late antiquity. He is Principal Investigator of the project "The Polyphony of Late Antiquity" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His books include "Justinian. Das christliche Experiment" (2011) and "Die Frühen Christen" (2nd edition 2019). A volume entitled "The image of Christian rulers in Late Antiquity" is in print. Additionally, he is co-editor of the Historische Zeitschrift and a member of the editorial board of the Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum and of Studies in Late Antiquity. He is a full member of the German Archaeological Institute and awardee of the Erwin Stein Prize (2019) and of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2015).
 Pinther Annette KorollPhoto: Annette Koroll Prof. Dr. Kerstin Pinther is Professor of African Art History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. She studied cultural anthropology and art history in Frankfurt (Main) and Munich, and obtained her Ph.D on urban imaginaries and image practices in Ghana. She was a senior researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt, from 2010-2014 she was Assistant Professor for the Arts and Visual Cultures of Africa at Free University Berlin. Since 2014 she is Professor for the Arts of Muslim Cultures and the Arts of Africa at LMU Munich. Her research activities  focus on urban cultures, contemporary art and architecture in Africa, design histories and forms of migration. Among her publications are "Afropolis. City, Media, Art" (2012, with Larissa Förster & Christian Hanussek) and recently "Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow. Design Histories between Africa and Europe (2017/18, with Alexandra Weigand). She is head of a DFG-project on Fashion and Styles in African Cities: Case Studies from Lagos and Doula (2017-2020). Kerstin Pinther is also a curator and currently works on a film project on design and architectural histories in Bamako, Mali (with Cheick Diallo & Tobias Wendl).


 Schlehe 6657FarbePhoto: Wiebke Hebermehl

Prof. Dr. Judith Schlehe is head of the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology at University of Freiburg.
In addition to receiving several honors for her research from the German Research Foundation (DFG), she was, inter alia, elected member of Academia Europaea in 2015 and member of the reading committee ICAS (International Convention of Asian Scholars) book prize in 2017.
She undertook long-term field research in various countries in South East Asia and Mongolia.
Her main thematic interests lie in cultural globalization and intercultural issues, gender, religious dynamics, popular forms of cultural representation, social imaginaries of East and West, new approaches to transnational collaboration and student migration.
Her latest research projects are "Representations of historical life worlds in theme- and culture parks: Reflections of 'self' and 'other' in Europe and Asia" and “Popular Historical Cultures in Indonesia: Current References to the Past in the Context of Democratisation and Decentralisation” within the interdisciplinary research group "Historical life-worlds in contemporary popular knowledge cultures" (2007-2017), both funded by DFG.

 Scholz Markus Wi BeraterPhoto: ANke Christina Sauter

Prof. Dr. Markus Scholz is professor of Archaeology and History of the Roman Provinces (Provinzialrömische Archäologie) at the Goethe-University Frankfurt a. M. since 2015. His main scientific interests concern Roman Frontier Studies and studies on Roman frontier societies, especially along Rhine and Danube, Roman grave monuments and burials, ceramics, Latin epigraphy and forms of communication in the Roman provinces. He focusses mainly on the northwestern provinces of the Roman Empire. He published on Roman forts and military structures, on Roman citizenship, on the development of funeral architecture and on so called small epigraphy (inscriptions mineures), i. e. graffiti and handwritten Text on curse tablets and on all kinds of objects of everyday life.

Eva Spies neu zugeschnittenPhoto: Donal Khosrowi


Prof. Dr. Eva Spies is Junior Professor for the Study of Religion with a special focus on Africa at the University of Bayreuth. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and has done ethnographic research in Niger and Madagascar. Her current research focuses on empirical and theoretical questions of religious diversity and the relationality of religious traditions. In Madagascar she studies encounters and mutual perceptions of religious groups in the context of Christian South-South mission. Another focus of her work is the field of religion and international development, in particular the forms of religious engineering – a concept she developed together with Paula Schrode. Eva Spies is PI of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), member of the executive board of the Institute of African Studies in Bayreuth and founder and spokesperson of the work group “Africa” of the German Association for the Study of Religion (DVRW). Recent publications include: "Schrift und Charisma: Zur Rolle von Lehrbüchern in der pfingstlich-charismatischen Mission in Subsahara-Afrika". (2017) and "Pluralicity and Relationality: New Directions in African Studies." (2016, with Rüdiger Seesemann).

SpittlerPhoto: Institut d'Études Avancées








Prof. em. Dr. Gerd Spittler was Professor of Sociology at the University of Freiburg (1980-88) and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. Since his retirement he is teaching regularly at the Universities of Niamey (Niger) and Sousse (Tunesia). He is a Honorary member of the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie". He was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin (1999/2000) and at the research college "Work and the Human Life Cycle in Global History" in Berlin (2009/10). In 2017/18 he was a fellow at "Institut d’Études Avancées" in Nantes. His last book publications are "African Children at Work (2012, with Michael Bourdillon) and "Anthropologie der Arbeit. Ein ethnographischer Vergleich" (2016).

The Frobenius Institute

The Frobenius-Institute focuses anthropological and historical research, since its foundation mainly in Africa, but also including South and Southeast Asia, Australia, South and North America and Oceania. More recently, its activity has been concentrated on research of cultural appropriation processes within the context of globalisation.

As Germany's oldest anthropological research institution, the Frobenius Institute holds four scientific collections and a number of scientific legacies. The holdings are the product of a collecting and documentation activity which started in 1898 and continued well after the death of the Institute's founder, Leo Frobenius, in 1938. One of the most remarkable features were the Institute's numerous research expeditions during which great importance was given to visual documentation. This lead to the creation of a large pictorial archive quite unique in Europe (online image database). Affiliated to the Frobenius-Institut is the Anthropological Library which has been founded in 1898 as a research library and which today counts among the most important libraries with focus on anthropology (catalogue).

As an autonomous institution, the Frobenius-Institut is associated to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and works in close collaboration with the Institut für Ethnologie (Institute for Ethnology), as well as with the Weltkulturen Museum (Museum of World Cultures) in the city of Frankfurt am Main.



Yearbooks / Annual reports 

Boards of the Frobenius Institute

20201001 Teamfoto 0500ms

Nigeria 100 years ago

plakat_nigeria100years.jpgNigeria 100 years ago – Through the eyes of Leo Frobenius and his expedition team  

Exhibition series with images from the ethnographic picture archive and the photographic archive of the Frobenius Institute, Frankfurt (Germany)


Opening on  9.11.2010 in Abuja, Ife, Makurdi, Minna und Yola (Nigeria) in cooperation with the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments.



All countries have at one time or another been explored by travellers, geographers, anthropologists and other adventurers. The materials collected during such exploratory expeditions have become invaluable records of events and situations taking place at those points in time. Leo Frobenius' travels in Nigeria between 1910 and 1912 fall into this category. On the completion of this expedition, Frobenius and his two colleagues had produced more than 3,000 images (photographs, sketches, oil paintings, aquarelles, etc.).

These images give a rich impression of architecture, art, artisanship, royalty and day-to-day life in Nigeria one hundred years ago, mainly in the areas of the Yoruba, Tiv and Nupe as well as Adamawa. For several reasons, however, the materials collected by Frobenius have not been accessible to the public.With this in mind, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in collaboration with the Frobenius Institute at the Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany have decided, on the occasion of the centenary of Frobenius' expedition andthe 50th anniversary of Nigeria's independence, to exhibit this magnificent archival collection, with a view to stimulating discussion on his legacy. We may have reason to not agree with Frobenius' methods and some of his conclusions; nonetheless, we cannot but appreciate the wealth of knowledge that can be attained from viewing his photographs, drawings and sketches.



See the different exhibition parts (click to open):

1.Introduction (included in all regional parts)

2. Yorubaland (at the National Museum, Ile-Ife, Osun State)

3. Nupeland (at the U.K. Bello Art Theater, Minna, Niger State)

4. Tivland and Jukunland (at the National Museum, Makurdi, Benue State)

5. Adamawa (at the Lamido Zubairu Educational Center, Yola, Adamawa State)

6. Portraits (included in the regional parts)



Press Coverage (selection, click to enlarge):









weeklytrust_k.jpg  ncmm_bulletin_k.jpg











Opening ceremonies (click to see the pictures):

1. Abuja, 9 Nov. 2010

2. Ife, 9 Nov. 2010

3. Makurdi, 9 Nov. 2010

4. Minna, 9 Nov. 2010

5. Yola, 9 Nov. 2010



Exhibition catalogue:




Richard Kuba und Musa Hambolu „Nigeria 100 Years Ago – Through the Eyes of Leo Frobenius and his Expedition Team“.

Frankfurt, Frobenius Institut, 2010. - 82 S.

ISBN: 978-3-9806506-4-9 





  • Karl-Heinz Kohl: The Legacy of Frobenius in Germany
  • Olayemi Akinwumi: Germay's Colonial Involvment in Nigeria
  • Hans Peter Hahn: Leo Frobenius in West Africa. Some Remarks on the History of Anthropology
  • Musa Hambolu: Nigeria 1910-1912. The Context of Leo Frobenius' Exploration
  • Richard Kuba: Travelling Frobenius
  • Folayemi Famoroti: Leo Frobenius' Contribution to the History of African Art
  • Gabriele Weisser: Context and Arrangement. Leo Frobenius' Mask Images from Nigeria
  • Editha Platte: Found and Lost in Ife: Leo Frobenius and the Olokun Bronze Head









Nigeria 100 years ago, Abuja

Opening ceremony at the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts and Culture (FTC Council for Arts and Culture), Abuja, November 9, 2010













Brochure for the opening in Abuja


Speeches delivered (click to open):

-          Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Yusuf Abdallah Usman

-          Senate Committee Chairman on Culture, Senator Dahiru Bako Gassol

-          House Committee Chairman on Culture, Hon. K.G.B. Oguakwa

-          Dr. Richard Kuba, Curator at the Frobenius-Institute in Frankfurt (Germany)

















Entrance to the exhibition hall
















Opening ceremony: the venue
















Welcome address by the Director General of the NCMM, Yusuf Abdallah Usman















Exhibition tour guided by NCMMs Director for Research and Training, Dr. Musa Hambolu















Pupils watching the exhibition

















Interview of NCMMs Director General, Yusuf Abdallah Usman, for the NTA Evening News
















A coss section of the public at the opening. The exhibition was composed of the highlights of the regional parts shown in Ife, Makurdi, Minna and Yola


Nigeria 100 years ago, Ife

Opening ceremony at the National Museum, Ile-Ife, Osun State, November 9, 2010














Banner of the occasion


Speeches delivered:

- HRH Oba (Engr) Olayiwola Olalekan Adereti, the Obawara of Iwara Kingdom of Ife

-  The Curator, National Museum, Ile-Ife, Mr. Bode Adesina




























The Chairman of the occasion, HRH Oba (Engr) Olayiwola Adereti, the Obawara of Iwara kingdom of Ife delivering his opening remarks




























Mrs. Ireti George (Deputy Director/Curator, National Museum Ibadan) reading the Director General's welcome address at the occasion



























Mr. 'Bode Adesina (Curator, National Museum Ile-Ife) delivering his address at the occasion
























The head of Ifa traditional religion worldwide, Chief Adisa Aworeni (Araba-Agbaye), making remarks at the occasion



















Entrance to the exhibition hall















A cross section of Royal Fathers and other dignitaries moving towards the exhibition gallery
















The curator explaining to the Chairman an aspect of the exhibition



Click here to see the exhibition