Provenance Research in Dutch Museums:

Provenance Research Project reveals 139 'problematic' items in 41 Dutch Museums 29 November 2013

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The Dutch Museums' Provenance Project. Museum Acquisitions from 1933, at http://www.musealeverwervingen.nl/10/home/ has gone online.

It was announced on 29 November 2013 that 41 Dutch museums are in possession of at least 139 items with 'problematic' origins. Of these, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum have 9 and 11 problematic items respectively, and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague 19. 61 items were flagged because 'of the name of the owners, and most of these 61 items belonged to Jews'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis shows the following:
6 paintings and 12 drawings come from the Goudstikker Collection. Of the twelve drawings, a series by Jan Toorop, six are in the Gemeentemuseum and six in the Stedelijk. All were bought at Muller Amsterdam in 1940 at the sale of seized Goudstikker works;
7 majolica items come from the Pringsheim Collection, all acquired from a Dutch collector in 1948 who had acquired them at the London sale of the seized collection in 1939;
2 paintings and 4 decorative objects come from the Larsen Collection and all are in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum. The four decorative objects were on loan from the family and taken by the museum in 1942 when the collection was declared 'enemy property' . The two paintings have also been in the museum since 1942 'by unknown means';
4 decorative items come from the Emma Budge Collection. Two are at the Gemeentemuseum which acquired them at the forced sale of the collection in Berlin in 1937.

That is, 25% of the items 'discovered' came from collections well known to have been looted, some of which were already identified by the Dutch museums in 1999 but not returned.

The provenances of the 139 items reveal that Dutch museums were acquiring works known to have been confiscated both throughout the war and thereafter even when the provenance of the items was obviously problematic. As late as 2002 the Dordrecht Museum bought a work of art which came from the confiscated Hedeman Collection with a label on the back showing it to have been seized in Holland.

The site publishes the objects only in Dutch at http://www.musealeverwervingen.nl/46/objecten/. There will not be an English translation until 2014.

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