Websites and Resources
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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, excluding what is on the homepage, 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.
24 July 2014: The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force released a statement that additional works of art, one painting and an unspecified number of sculptures, had been found in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt. Initial examinations indicate that one sculpture is likely by Edgar Degas and another could be by Auguste Rodin. The works were first turned over to the Munich Probate Court. The court-appointed administrator of the Gurlitt estate in turn asked the Task Force to review the works for Nazi looted art.
Head of the Task Force Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel stated that, following an investigation, all newly discovered works will be posted on the database Lostart.de as quickly as possible.
To read the press release in German, click here.
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.
Experts discuss the implications of the Gurlitt Case for the field of looted art and restitution, including the possible future role of the proposed Bavarian ‘Lex Gurlitt’.
The broadcast can be accessed here.
23 June 2014: The Dutch Restitutions Committee has advised Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker to reject a claim to a part of the Koenigs collection which was returned from Kiev, Ukraine, in 2004. This advice has been accepted.
The advice issued on 14 April 2014 concerns 139 drawings and three etchings from the pre-war art collection of the banker Franz Wilhelm Koenigs. The artworks were returned from Kiev, Ukraine, to the Netherlands in 2004 and are currently part of the Dutch National Art Collection (NK collection). They are in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam on long-term loan.
Franz Koenigs was a German-born banker who settled in Haarlem in the nineteen-twenties and was later granted Dutch nationality. He built up an important art collection in the Netherlands. In 2005 a granddaughter of Franz Koenigs submitted an application for the restitution of the 142 works.
According to the Committee it has not been made sufficiently plausible that Franz Koenigs's loss of possession is directly related to the Nazi regime. In this regard it has judged that the transfer on 2 April 1940, in other words before the German invasion, by Franz Koenigs (who was not Jewish) of his collection to the bank, established in the Netherlands, to which he owed a debt that had become payable is of prime importance. The artworks did not get into the hands of the Nazis until after this transfer and after a subsequent sale to a Dutch buyer.
The full text of the Restitutions Committee's recommendation can be read here.
The Koenigs claimants have issued their own press release in response to the decision. To see the press release, click here.
After careful consideration, the Spoliation Advisory Panel’s opinion was that the just and fair resolution of the claim is the transfer of the Biccherna Panel by the British Library Board to the Claimants in accordance with the provisions of the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009.
The Panel concluded that the Biccherna Panel formed part of an inventory owned by a Munich art gallery, of which the Claimants are the surviving heirs of the Jewish shareholders, and that the sale of the Gallery’s contents in 1936 by the Aryanised Berlin auction house of Paul Graupe in response to an extortionate tax demand, constituted a forced sale. To read the full report, click here.
The Spoliation Advisory Panel found that, following the death of Mrs Budge in 1937, her art collection was sold by the Aryanised Jewish auction house of Paul Graupe and her family was deprived of the proceeds of the sale.
The Panel’s recommendation is that the Victoria and Albert Museum should offer to return the figures to the Estate of Mrs Budge, given the circumstances of their loss. However, given that Mrs Budge expressed a wish that, following her death, some or all of her art collection should go to museums in Germany or abroad, the Panel has invited the Executor of the Estate to consider whether it would be appropriate for one of the Meissen figures to remain in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum. To read the full report, click here.
The Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung in Berlin (AfP) granted the support for 20 research projects to identify Nazi-looted art in German museums, libraries and archives with funding totalling circa 2 million Euros at their meeting on 27 May 2014. Since its foundation in 2008, the AfP has supported the research of more than 90,000 works of art and cultural objects in 71 museums and over half a million books and prints in 22 libraries.
The following institutions will be supported to further their provenance research:
To read the German press release, click here.
11 June 2014: The Schwabing Art Trove Task Force issued a press release stating that they believe the 1921 Matisse painting "Seated Woman" is Nazi looted art and was stolen from Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg. The Task Force advised that the painting should be restituted. However, the final decision regarding restitution lies with the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt, who had agreed to abide by the Washington Principles shortly before his death. To read the German press release, click here.
In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have created a table of all consignor names from the Munich and Vienna auction catalogues of Adolf Weinmüller. The family names are listed in alphabetical order with links to the relevant catalogues. The table is entirely searchable.
Please click here to see the entire list of family names published to date.
27 May 2014: The annotated catalogues of the Nazi-era auction house Weinmüller were released online this week on the database lostart.de. The 93 volumes detail all auctions that took place in Munich, and more than half of the Vienna auctions, between 1936 and 1944.
A German user guide has been provided on lostart.de. Please click here to access the German version.
In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have provided an English translation. Please click here to see the English user guide.
Press Release by the Kunstmuseum Bern 3 June 2014:
On May 26, 2014, the board of trustees of the Kunstmuseum Bern met for the first time in a special session to examine the situation in regard to Mr Cornelius Gurlitt naming the Kunstmuseum Bern as his unrestricted sole heir. The will has not been opened yet; once this is the case, the museum will have a deadline of six months in which it must decide on whether it will accept the inheritance. In this period the Kunstmuseum Bern will make an assessment of the situation by collecting as much material containing relevant information as possible.
Thus the Kunstmuseum Bern does not yet have an inventory at its disposal, and it has not been able to inspect the art collection. On the occasion of a visit to Munich, the president of the board of trustees and the director communicated with the authorities there. The political authorities in Switzerland are being kept informed on a regular basis.
It has been decided that the Kunstmuseum Bern will seek legal assistance; the name of our legal advisor will be made known publicly when he or she has been definitively appointed.
The Kunstmuseum Bern will notify the media when relevant new information is available, at the earliest at the beginning of July.
The text of the press release is available here.
"Today, May 7, 2014, Kunstmuseum Bern was informed by Mr Christoph Edel, lawyer to Mr Cornelius Gurlitt, who died yesterday, May 6, 2014, by telephone and in writing that Mr Cornelius Gurlitt has appointed the private-law foundation Kunstmuseum Bern his unrestricted and unfettered sole heir.
Despite speculation in the media that Mr Gurlitt had bequeathed his collection to an art institution outside Germany, the news came like a bolt from the blue, since at no time has Mr Gurlitt had any connection with Kunstmuseum Bern. The Board of Trustees and Directors of Kunstmuseum Bern are surprised and delighted, but at the same time do not wish to conceal the fact that this magnificent bequest brings with it a considerable burden of responsibility and a wealth of questions of the most difficult and sensitive kind, and questions in particular of a legal and ethical nature. They will not be in a position to issue a more detailed statement before first consulting the relevant files and making contact with the appropriate authorities."
The text of the release is available here.
29 April 2014: The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz is working with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe to clarify the provenance of the painting ‘Pariser Platz in Berlin’ by Oskar Kokoschka. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe represents the family of Anna Caspari, a distinguished dealer in Munich who was deported from Germany and murdered by the Nazis in Riga in 1941. The artwork belonged to the Caspari family / the Galerie Caspari.
Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, comments: ‘We have agreed to extensive collaboration with the representatives of the family. Therefore, I hope that we can clarify as soon and thoroughly as possible the circumstances of the acquisition. All further decisions must be founded on established knowledge of the historical acquisition circumstances as well as the history and ownership of Galerie Caspari. It is good that we take a step forward on this path.’ The SPK and the Commission will be working together to research the entire collection of Anna Caspari and the circumstances of its loss.
Anne Webber and David Lewis, Co-Chairs of the Commission said: ‘Anna Caspari suffered a terrible fate at the hands of the Nazis and we are glad to be working jointly with the SPK, which holds many paintings originally owned by her, to shed light on the circumstances of the loss of her art collection.’
As soon as further information is available the SPK and the Commission will publicise the results. During the process of the research and ongoing talks, both parties have agreed upon confidentiality.
The painting, a work from the collection of the Nationalgalerie Berlin, hung in the office of the president of the SPK until a few weeks ago. It had been taken down from the wall, as the possibility of a loss due to Nazi persecution could not be excluded any longer. In the context of the news coverage on Oskar Kokoschka’s painting ‘Pariser Platz in Berlin’ on the 9 and 10 April 2014 Hermann Parzinger stressed that the foundation will do everything to clarify the provenance of the painting swiftly. Should it emerge that the painting was lost due to Nazi persecution, the SPK and the Commission will work towards a fair and just solution according to the Washington Principles.
On 14 March 2014 the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin published an updated list of names identified through their provenance research project. The names were identified in the form of signatures, stamps, dedications and notes in the books. The owners are sought so that the books can be returned. All the names are set out on our site here with details of whom to contact.
4 April 2014: 458 works of art have been posted on lostart.de to date, the last posting being on 15 January. Despite the commitment to publish more, no statement has been issued by the Task Force to explain why publication has ceased for the last 14 weeks.
Of the 458 works published, 407 are works on paper from artists including Cézanne, Corot, Daumier, Delacroix, Dürer, Gauguin, Guardi, Harunobu, Hokusai, Ingres, Liebermann, Michel, Millet, Munch, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec. 51 are oil paintings, by artists such as Achenbach, Courbet, Dix, Forain, Heem, Hildebrandt, Huysum, Liebermann, Marstrand, Matisse, Monticelli, Nickelen, Prudhon, Rayski, Renoir, Rousseau, Spranger, Treu, van de Velde, Vernet and Ziem.
In order to assist families searching for their lost works of art, we have created a table of all the works posted in alphabetical order by artist, with all provenance information available, and a link to the image. The table is entirely searchable - see sample below. Please click here to see the entire list of works published to date. The table is updated with each new posting on lostart.
Sample of Table:
Title and medium
Entry on Lostart.de click here
|Gesellschaft am Strand
(Company on the beach)
|Reverse: Exhibited in Werke der frz. Malerei u. Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 4, as ‘Gesellschaft am Strand’, at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang Essen)|
Entry on Lostart.de click here
|Reverse: Exhibited in Werke frz. Malerei und Grafik des 19. Jh. catalogue nr. 40, as 'Löwin', at Villa Hügel, Essen 1954 (Museum Folkwang, Essen)|
For the full range of developments on the Gurlitt case since the news broke on 3 November, excluding what is on the homepage, but including government press releases, Allied documents 1945-1950, the text of the proposed Lex Gurlitt, etc, click here. For all news stories, see the News Archive. For all other materials, including ALIU reports, etc, search 'Gurlitt'.
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 email@example.com.