Gurlitt Case :

Hildebrand Gurlitt and the Art Trade during the Nazi Period

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Dr Katja Terlau published this important essay on Hildebrand Gurlitt in 2005 in the AAM publication 'Vitalizing Memory'. It arose from a research project she conducted at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum Cologne into acquisitions made between 1933-1945. 32 major works of art were acquired by the museum through Gurlitt between 1941 and 1945, all from France and almost all from private collections in Paris. Her essay covers his activities in France, his sources of acquisition, his business documents for 1943-4, his purchases for German museums and collectors and his role in the post-war years.

She characterises him as "one of the most important and active art dealers during the Nazi era" and notes that his activities in France at the beginning of the 1940s have yet to be closely examined "perhaps because the magnitude of his dealings for museums and private customers has long been underestimated". She advised that "all works that were procured by him should be treated with the utmost attention, particularly with regard to the conditions of their procurement, and should be researched for evidence of forced sales".

To read the essay, click here.

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