Germany:

Gurlitt Case Overview

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Gurlitt Collection Lists, Documentation and Outstanding Questions

Works of Art: Some 1,600 works were published by the Bern Kunstmuseum on 27 November in two listings, one for the works found in the Munich apartment and one for those found in the Salzburg house. The Salzburg collection accounts for 254 works, considerably more than the estimate of 60 previously given. The lists are published only in German and provide artist name, title, date, medium, dimensions and image. No provenance information is included. Bern says it will update the lists once the research progresses further. To see the Munich list, click here. To see the Salzburg list, click here.

Business Records: It was announced on Monday that Hildebrand Gurlitt's business records would be published online. Many have long called for these to be publicly available. Lostart.de has now published four categories of records covering the years 1937-1945: Einkaufsbuch Verkaufsbuch 1937-41 (Purchases and Saless Ledgers 1937-41; Ein- und Verkaufsbuch 1937- (Purchases and Sales Ledger 1937-); Im- und Export (Import and Export); and Konto-Korrent (Accounts). The names of the buyers are redacted by lostart for "data protection" reasons and will be only released to those who can show a "legitimate interest". 

Provenance Research Reports: It was also announced on Monday that the Task Force would provide research reports on any of the 500 works deemed problematic which proved to have been looted. Immediately before the press conference, lostart.de published the third report on a looted artwork produced by the Task Force, this on the Spitzweg drawing Playing the Piano from the Henri Hinrichsen collection. Like the two previous reports, on the Matisse painting Seated Woman from the Paul Rosenberg collection and the Liebermann oil Two Riders on a Beach from the David Friedmann collection, the reports are in German, determinations are based on whether a work was lost due to persecution during the Nazi era, are thin in content, and redact information about competing claimants. The Spitzweg report shows that in 1966, following a claim to the German government from the Hinrichsen heirs, Mrs Gurlitt was asked about the fate of the drawing, which the German government knew had been acquired by her husband in 1940 in Leipzig. She replied that all business records had been destroyed on 13 February 1945 in the bombing of Dresden and she was not able to help.

Other works acquired from Hildebrand Gurlitt or sold out of the collection: Questions remain about what art was sold by Hildebrand Gurlitt to museums and collectors and what art was disposed of by him and his family through the German, Austrian and Swiss art market. CLAE and others are calling for museums to disclose any works with a Gurlitt provenance and for dealers to dislcose any works they have sold for the family since the end of the war.

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