Websites and Resources
Conferences and Events
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.
In a two-part special which started on Tuesday 28 October and ends on Tuesday 4 November, the BBC's premier arts documentary series, Imagine, follows the stories of Hildebrand and Cornelius Gurlitt and those of the families who have been fighting to find their lost art.
'The Art That Hitler Hated' on 28 October 2014 at 22.35 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 at 22.35 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.