News

Raubkunst schnell zurückgeben - Return looted art quickly
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger 25 November 2014
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Is the Gurlitt collection so precious we forget its dubious heritage?
The Guardian 25 November 2014
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Swiss museum gets huge, priceless art trove
AP 24 November 2014
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Gurlitt art bequest a ‘win-win’ says media
Swissinfo 25 November 2014
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Gurlitt Trove Investigation Must Intensify, Transparency Increase
Claims Conference 24 November 2014
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The Kunstmuseum Bern’s Agreement to Accept Gurlitt Inheritance—Analysis and Lingering Issues
Art Law Report 24 November 2014
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Swiss Museum Accepts Art From Late Dealer Cornelius Gurlitt
Wall Street Journal 24 November 2014
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Kunstmuseum Bern Accepts 1,300 Artwork Nazi-Era Gurlitt Collection Amidst Legal Battles
Artnet 24 November 2014
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Swiss Museum Accepts Bequest of Nazi-Era Art
New York Times 24 November 2014
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Swiss Museum to Accept Art Trove, Return Nazi-Looted Work
Bloomberg 24 November 2014
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Nazi-looted art: Why Germany hasn't dealt with it
Deutsche Welle 24 November 2014
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Cornelius Gurlitt's overlooked heirs want control of his Nazi-era 'degenerate art' estate
Deutsche Welle 24 November 2014
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Nazi past lingers ambiguously in culture of Bavarian capital
Irish Times 24 November 2014
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Gurlitt Relatives Formally Challenge Will that Named Kunstmuseum Bern as Heir
Art Law Report 21 November 2014
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Saviour of France’s art: how the Mona Lisa was spirited away from the Nazis
The Guardian 22 November 2014
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Possible Nazi art transfer riles Jewish groups
Jerusalem Post 23 November 2014
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Collector’s Cousin Makes Last-Minute Claim to Nazi-Tainted Art Trove
Wall Street Journal 21 November 2014
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Cousin of Cornelius Gurlitt Challenges Will That Leaves Collection to Swiss Museum
New York Times 21 November 2014
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Nazi-Era Art Collection Appears to Find a Home
New York Times 21 November 2014
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Limbach demands return of 'degenerate art' to German museums
Deutsche Welle 20 November 2014
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Websites and Resources

Dutch Museums' Provenance Research
Results of 'Museum Acquisitions from 1933' project showing 41 Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with 'problematic' origins.
click to visit
Swiss Looted Art Portal
Opened in June 2013, this government-run site provides details of museums' provenance research, advice on making enquiries, research and claims and links to relevant databases and archives in Switzerland and beyond.
click to visit
WGA-Files - Akten der Wieder- gutmachungsämter von Berlin - Case Records of the Berlin Restitution Offices
Digitised restitution case records of the Berlin Restitution Offices held in the Landesarchiv Berlin, consisting of the record group B Rep 025, Wiedergutmachungsämter von Berlin, containing more than 800,000 files.
click to visit
European Sales Catalogues 1930-1945 Heidelberg University
3,000 digitised auction catalogues including both German-speaking countries and the countries of occupied Europe - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland - and including every genre of cultural object, from paintings to tapestries to silver and books. Provides the entire texts of auction catalogues. Searchable by auction house, artist, work of art, etc.
click to visit
German Sales Catalogs 1930–1945 at the Getty
More than 2,000 German language sales catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 including more than 230,000 individual auction sales records for paintings, sculptures, and drawings only. Searchable by artist name and nationality, lot title, buyer or seller’s name, city in which the sale occurred, type of subject matter and other fields. Provides only individual lot details, and links to Heidelberg for the full catalogue.  
click to visit

Conferences and Events

Looted Art - Provenienzforschung am Museum - Provenance Research in Museums, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Bern, 6 October - 24 November 2014

The last of four lectures organized by the University of Bern's Institute for Art History takes place on 24 November when Benno Widmer speaks about Due Diligence. For the event flyer, click here.

L'art dégénéré selon Hitler - Degenerate Art According to Hitler, Exhibition, Cité Miroir Liège, 16 October 2014 - 29 March 2015

Organised by the City, Museums and University of Liège, MNEMA and Les Territoires de la Mémoire. For full details, click here.

Kunstraub | Raubkunst - Art Theft | Looted Art, Exhibition, Galerie Alte & Neue Meister, Schwerin, 24 October 2014 - 1 February 2015

For further information, click here.

Publications

Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust
November 2014
Michael J. Bazyler and Frank M. Turkheimer. Ten “forgotten trials” of the Holocaust, selected from the many Nazi trials that have taken place over the course of the last seven decades.
read more
Die Praxis des Sammelns. Personen und Institutionen im Fokus der Provenienzforschung - The Practice of Collecting Art: Individuals and Institutions in the Focus of Provenance Research
November 2014
Eva Blimlinger and Heinz Schödl (ed).
read more
Holocaust-Era Looted Art: A Current World-Wide Overview
September 2014
Dr Wesley A. Fisher and Dr Ruth Weinberger. Report by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and World Jewish Restitution Organization
read more
Provenance Research in American Institutions
August 2014
Jane C. Milosch, Lynn H. Nicholas and Megan M. Fontanella (guest editors). A series of essays by American experts, including Nancy Yeide, Christian Huemer and Laurie Stein. 
read more
NS-Raubkunst auf der Spur: Provenienzforschung an der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek
July 2014
Susanne Wanninger and Dr Stephan Kellner. A review of provenance research conducted at the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) since 2003.
read more
The Vienna Archives: Musical Expropriation During the Nazi Era and 21st Century Ramifications
June 2014
Dr Carla J. Shapreau. A study on the displacement and loss of musical instruments and associated items in Austria during the Nazi-era.
read more
Der Fall Gurlitt
April 2014
Stefan Koldehoff, Ralf Oehmke and Raimund Stecker .
read more
Archivist Monuments Man: Lester K. Born
April 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher. The next installment in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men.
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Die Bilder sind unter uns. Das Geschäft mit der NS-Raubkunst und der Fall Gurlitt
April 2014
Stefan Koldehoff. An updated and revised version of Stefan Koldehoff's 2009 book with a new chapter on the Gurlitt case.
read more
Monuments Men Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
March 2014
Dr Greg Bradsher and Dr Sylvia Naylor.
read more
Ravaged. Art and Culture in Times of Conflict
March 2014
Jo Tollebeek and Eline van Assche (eds.). A publication accompanying the exhibition Ravaged at the M - Museum Leuven.
read more
Reviewing the Agudas Chasidei Chabad v. Russian Federation, et al. Dispute
March 2014
Irina Tarsis and Elizabeth Varner.
read more

Welcome to lootedart.com

This site contains two fully searchable databases.

The Information Database contains information and documentation from forty nine countries, including laws and policies, reports and publications, archival records and resources, current cases and relevant websites.

The Object Database contains details of over 25,000 objects of all kinds – paintings, drawings, antiquities, Judaica, etc – looted, missing and/or identified from over fifteen countries.

For a list of Essential Website Links, showing all key research sites and resources,click here.

For details of international resources, see below, Online Resources and Case News.

For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November 2013, excluding what is on the homepage, including government press releases, Allied documents 1945-1950, specialist publications, the text of the proposed Lex Gurlitt, images and details of the works in the collection, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive. For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'. 

To subscribe to our looted art newsletter, click here.

NEW

BBC 1 Television's Imagine shows two films: 'The Art That Hitler Hated' and 'The Sins of the Fathers'

In a two-part special on Tuesday 28 October and Tuesday 4 November, the BBC's premier arts documentary series, Imagine, followed the stories of Hildebrand and Cornelius Gurlitt and those of the families who have been fighting to find their lost art.

 

Part 1, 'The Art That Hitler Hated', tells how on a train crossing from Switzerland to Germany in February 2010 an old man, Cornelius Gurlitt, was searched by customs officials. They found 9,000 euros in cash. Their suspicions started a journey back in time, to a hoard of art hidden since the Third Reich which has reignited passions that seemed long spent. These were not old masters but new - works the Nazis labelled 'degenerate', like the Jews themselves. They tried to wipe out both. The father of the old man on the train, Hildebrand Gurlitt, was a dealer for the Nazis, selling these works abroad and keeping some for himself.

 

'The Sins of the Fathers' on 4 November tells how the end of the war was only the beginning of another battle. In the art world in Germany, it was business as usual. Many people in museums, galleries and auction houses in Germany remained in their positions when the war was over. So people involved in looting art might now be in charge of deciding whether to return it. For families, often living in exile,it was an uphill struggle. For them the discovery of the Gurlitt hoard has raised new hopes - and repeated some old disappointments.

 

The films were conceived and executive produced by Anne Webber, Co-Chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.

 

Both films will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast and can be downloaded at any time in that period to be available for 30 days on the viewer's device.

Statement of the Ashmolean Museum Oxford on the Report of the Spoliation Panel

The Ashmolean's statement of 16 October 2014, available here, was issued in response to the Spoliation Panel's ruling that a Renaissance salt in its collection be returned to the heirs of the collector Emma Budge. The salt was part of a 2012 bequest of a 500 piece collection put together by Michael Wellby, a member of a family prominent in the silver trade. Wellby opened his own shop in Grafton Street in the 1960s, specializing in German silver of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in which he became an acknowledged expert. The salt was acquired in or shortly after 1994 for his personal collection.

As a result of the Ashmolean's provenance research, led by Professor Timothy Wilson, Keeper of the Department of Western Art, the rightful owner of the salt was identified and contacted through the Commission for Looted Art.  The ensuing claim for restitution was then referred to the Spoliation Advisory Panel for a ruling. The Panel analyzed the circumstances of the sale and concluded that it was a direct result of anti-Semitic intervention by the Nazi authorities. The Panel recommends that the Museum return the salt to the representatives of the Budge family. The Museum will therefore return the salt to the representatives of the Budge family.

Further publication on lostart.de of 34 works in the Cornelius Gurlitt collection

Two new sets of items from the Gurlitt collection have been published on lostart.de. On 24 July 2014, 33 works: 1 weapon, 12 craft and other folk art objects, 1 numismatic object, 1 painting and 18 sculptures, were published under the category 'Funde (Nachlass)' (Works (Estate))'. These include the Degas, Maillol and Rodin sculptures previously identified. The Monet landscape found in Cornelius Gurlitt's suitcase in the hospital where he died was published on 5 September in a new 'Koffer fund' ('Suitcase works') category.
To see an entirely searchable detailed list of all Gurlitt works published to date, click here for the original 458 published until 17 January 2014, click here for the 33 'Estate' items and click here for the Monet in the suitcase.

Knoedler Gallery Archive Stock Books Now Available Online

1 October 2014: The Getty Research Institute has launched an expanded dealer stock book database that provides free online access to almost 24,000 records created from the Knoedler Gallery painting stock books. Books 1 through 6, dating from 1872 to 1920, are available now; books 7 through 11 will be added soon. The Knoedler Gallery was a central force in the evolution of an art market in the U.S.
Search the database.
Browse the stock books.
Find out more about the Knoedler Gallery Archive.

Report ‘Holocaust-Era Looted Art: A Current World-Wide Overview’ by the Claims Conference and World Jewish Restitution Organization

11 September 2014: A survey of 50 countries by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) shows that two-thirds of the nations that endorsed the 1998 Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and the 2009 Terezin Declaration have done little or nothing to implement their commitments with regard to research and restitution of Nazi-era looted art. Countries that came in for most criticism include Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.  


According to the report, art and Judaica looted by the Nazis from Jews is still largely unidentified. The authors call for the creation of an International Association of Provenance Researchers "to guide museums toward more actively and professionally investigating the histories of items in their collections".


To read the abstract of the report, click here. To read the full report, click here.

US National Archives and Records Administration Records Available for Free on Fold3

9 September 2014: The records of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are available through the International Research Portal on their website (Holocaust Era Assets records) are now a free collection on the online database Fold3. To access the records, register for a free Fold3 member account.

 

To read more about the NARA records available on Fold3, click here.

Information on Forced Sales of Mosse Family Art Collection Available on www.lootedart.com

 

 

21 August 2014: Rudolf Mosse was a philanthropist, advertising pioneer and the founder of the well-known Verlag Rudolf Mosse, a publishing house in Berlin, which, among other periodicals, published the Berliner Tageblatt. Following Rudolf’s death in 1920, Hans Lachmann-Mosse became the successor to the family’s business interests. Both Rudolf and his son-in-law Hans assembled significant art collections.

 

Following the Nazi rise to power in 1933, Hans Lachmann-Mosse and his family fled Germany. The same year the family’s assets were seized in Berlin and elsewhere by the Nazi government.

 

In 1934, parts of the Mosse family art collections were sold under duress at two auctions in Berlin, one at Rudolf Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus on 29-30 May 1934 and one at Auktions-Haus Union on 6-7 June 1934. Both auctions were organised by Karl Haberstock.

 

The full contents of the catalogues of both auctions have been made available in both German and English through the Object Database of the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933 - 1945.

Germany's Limbach Commission recommends that Corinth painting should not be returned

21 August 2014: The Limbach Commission has published its recommendation regarding the painting “Three Graces” by Lovis Corinth currently in the collection of the Bavarian State Paintings Collection. While the expert panel recognized that the painting's previous owner, Jewish industrialist Clara Levy, was a victim of Nazi-persecution, they held that the painting was legally shipped to New York by Levy's daughter-in-law in early 1940. Following this, it changed ownership several times before it returned to Germany after the war.

 

To read the full decision in German, click here.

Munich Stadtmuseum Researches and Publishes Silver Objects from Former Jewish Ownership

 

 

23 July 2014: In September 2011 the Münchner Stadtmuseum, the largest municipal museum in Germany, both in terms of its physical magnitude and the scope of its collections, initiated a joint research project with the Berlin Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung to systematically research its collection to identify potentially Nazi-looted objects. The project covered any objects that the museum had acquired between 1933 and 1945. Among the 20,000 objects which the museum acquired during that period,  205 silver objects were identified. All 205 objects originated from Jewish families who were forced to hand over these objects to the municipal pawn office in Munich, from which the municipal museum then acquired the items. After 1945, 57 of these objects were claimed and were restituted to the original owners or their families. The remaining 148 objects remained in the museum and were the subject of this research project. 

 

A total of 66 inventoried items were published by the museum. The book, Spurensuche: Silber aus ehemals jüdischem Besitz im Sammlungsbestand des Münchner Stadtmuseums, contains images of the objects and samples of the museum's related inventory cards. Please click here for further information on the publication.

 

All but three objects listed in the book are also listed on Lostart.de. Click here for the entries on Lostart.de.

Table of Gurlitt Works of Art posted on www.lootedart.com

12 September 2014: The German Task Force ceased publication of works from the Cornelius Gurlitt collection on 15 January 2014. 458 works of art were published only, of a total of over 1,650, despite a commitment by the Task Force to publish all works. Neither the extra works found in Gurlitt's apartment announced in the press on 24 July, which consisted of sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas and one painting, nor the work on paper by Claude Monet found in his suitcase at the hospital announced on 5 September have been published on Lostart.de, though the Task Force promised to do so in the respective press releases announcing those discoveries. Although Cornelius Gurlitt died on 6 May 2014, the remit of the Task Force remains in force. To see a entirely searchable list of all 458 works, click here.

Online Resources and Case News
Country-specific information is available on this site for 48 countries, from Albania to Yugoslavia, in the Information by Country section. Details of important, non country-specific, online resources are available in the International section of the site which contains several categories of information.  For example: 

Case News: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or settled outside the courts with copies of reports and rulings. Full details of a comprehensive range of cases can be found in the News Archive, which is fully searchable by name of family, artwork, museum, city, etc.


Lawsuits
: provides details of claims and cases ruled on or being settled in court with copies of court filings and judgements.

Research Resources: provides details of family records, tracing services, art historical resources, texts of post-war reports, and books and publications.

Web Resources: provides details of various online databases of looted paintings, results of provenance research in countries around the world, archival records available online and other research materials.

Seeking Owners of Identified Looted Property: provides lists of names of individuals whose looted property has been identified in institutions in Germany and whose heirs are being sought. 

Other categories of information include Governmental Conferences and Hearings, Laws, Policies and Guidelines, Art Trade, and Press, Television, Radio and Film.  To explore all these sections, click here.

The site is regularly updated with new resources and developments.  To provide details of resources or cases to add to the site, please email info@lootedart.com.

© website copyright Central Registry 2014