Principal Investigator, Berlin
Jonathan is Head (Museumsleiter) of the Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, a post he has held since January 2020. Before assuming this leadership position, he was the curator for the collections from West Africa, Cameroon, Gabon, and Namibia at the Ethnologisches Museum and was speaker of the museum’s working group on provenance research. His curatorial work focused on the colonial contexts of large parts of European and North American collections of art and cultural objects from Africa, especially from Cameroon and Namibia. He has been active in developing recommendations for German museums for displaying, researching, conserving, and returning objects from these collections to the countries and communities from which they originate. He is one of the authors of the German Museums Association guidelines for collections from colonial contexts. He has also set a focus for the Ethnologisches Museum on the digitization of museum objects and the historical information concerning their acquisition. Jonathan completed his Ph.D. in Art History at Princeton University, and he holds B.A. from the University of Chicago and Cambridge, an M.A. from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. His work on African art grows out of his legal work, which, in part, concerned disputed territory in Africa and the litigation of human rights and constitutional issues in United States courts.