Staatliches Museum Schwerin (Schwerin State Museum)
Formerly called the Mecklenburgisches Landesmuseum (Mecklenburg Provincial Museum)
Research into Nazi-confiscated works of art in the museum's collection
The museum has undertaken systematic research into purchases and transfers between 1933 and 1945. Objects with unclear provenance have been published on the museum's website with basic provenance information under: Aktuelles / "Erwerbungen 1933-45; Zugänge nach 45" (Acquisitions 1933-45; Post -1945 Accessions). The full list is available from the Central Registry. It includes paintings by Tischbein, Eugen Adam, Theodor Schloepke, Heinrich Pommerenke and others; glass and faience acquired at auction houses in Berlin, such as Paul Graupe, and elsewhere; 16th and 17th century coins and medals; and prints and drawings by Schloepke, Hermann Kretschmer, Ferdinand Ruscheweygh and Carl Wagner.
The museum was involved in a restitution case with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (Claims Conference) regarding an eighteenth century sculpture (1712) in its collection believed to represent Elector Friedrich August II. The sculpture was part of the collection of Emma Budge, born Emma Ranette Lazarus (1852-1937), daughter of a Jewish merchant from Hamburg and an American citizen since her marriage to the naturalised American Henry Budge. In 1937 her heirs were violently prevented from taking up their inheritance and the Budge's Hamburg family home and art collection were confiscated by the National Socialists. After the collection was catalogued at the Berlin Museum of Decorative Arts, it was put up for auction by Berlin art dealer Paul Graupe on 4-6 October and 6-7 December 1937 at the behest of the art dealer H.W. Lange. Research undertaken by the Claims Conference indicated that the museum had purchased the sculpture and two decorated 18th century French fans at the Graupe auction. This was confirmed by the museum's own provenance research. As the heirs could not be identified, the Claims Conference claimed the objects in 1997. In 2001 the return was agreed. However, it was decided that the works would remain in the museum on indefinite loan. The Claims Conference is still searching for the heirs.
Research into works of art missing from the museum
The museum's collection was placed in storage in 1942. After the war a quarter of the collection was found to be missing, in particular the collections which had been stored in eastern locations, although some militaria was returned by the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Other collections were displaced within Germany and later returned. The museum has undertaken intensive research into its war-related losses, publishing a first volume of its losses in 1965. The museum has published three volumes so far; a fourth is currently in preparation.
Dr. Torsten Fried
Staatliches Museum Schwerin
Kunstsammlungen, Schlösser und Gärten
Alter Garten 3
Tel: +49 (0) 385 5958 112
Fax: +49 (0) 385 5630 90
Central Registry Archives, Correspondence, 9 December 2002
Karin Annette Möller/Kornelia von Berswordt-Wallrabe; 'Zu einer Böttgersteinzeug-Statuette aus der Sammlung Emma Budge, Hamburg', in Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste (ed.), Beiträge öffentlicher Einrichtungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Umgang mit Kulturgütern aus ehemaligem jüdischen Besitz (Magdeburg: Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste, 2001), 194-201. Text in German, summary in English
Staatliches Museum Schwerin/Kunstsammlungen, Schlösser, Gärten, Dokumentation der kriegsbedingt vermißten Kunstwerke des Mecklenburgischen Landesmuseums in Schwerin (Schwerin: Staatliches Museum Schwerin, 1998-2002) In German; foreword in English and Russian, basic information on works in Russian.
Band I (volume I) Gemälde und Miniaturen, Plastische Arbeiten (Paintings and Miniatures, Sculptures) 1998
Band II (volume II) Münzen, Medaillen, Orden, Ehrenzeichen (Coins, Medals, Military Decorations) 1998
Band III (volume III) Keramik (Ceramics) 2002
Band IV (volume IV) (in preparation) Glas, Textilien, Möbel, Metallarbeiten, Kleinplastiken, Kriegs,-Jagd und Verkehrswesen (Glass, Textiles, Furniture, Metalwork, Clay Sculptures, Martial and Hunting Arts, and Transport)
Staatliches Museum Schwerin
<http://www.museum-schwerin.de/museum/start.htm> first accessed 16 December 2002. Link updated 19 July 2007.