Quantitative imaging and photobleaching were used to measure ER/Golgi recycling of GFP-tagged Golgi proteins in interphase cells and to monitor the dissolution and reformation of the Golgi during mitosis. In interphase, recycling occurred every 1.5 hr, and blocking ER egress trapped cycling Golgi enzymes in the ER with loss of Golgi structure. In mitosis, when ER export stops, Golgi proteins redistributed into the ER as shown by quantitative imaging in vivo and immuno-EM. Comparison of the mobilities of Golgi proteins and lipids ruled out the persistence of a separate mitotic Golgi vesicle population and supported the idea that all Golgi components are absorbed into the ER. Moreover, reassembly of the Golgi complex after mitosis failed to occur when ER export was blocked. These results demonstrate that in mitosis the Golgi disperses and reforms through the intermediary of the ER, exploiting constitutive recycling pathways. They thus define a novel paradigm for Golgi genesis and inheritance.