Guidelines:

Holocaust-era provenance research in Canadian art museums and galleries: Best practice guidelines 20 October 2017

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Best practice guidelines

CAMDO-ODMAC
Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization
Organisation des directeurs des musées d’art canadiens

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

The Canadian Holocaust-Era Provenance Research and Best Practice Guidelines Project (CHERP) is an initiative of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO-ODMAC), undertaken with the support of the Government of Canada via the Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage.

Project director: Moira McCaffrey
Research and writing: Anke Kausch
Translation: France Jodoin

© CAMDO-ODMAC
All rights reserved CAMDO-ODMAC, 2017

CAMDO-ODMAC
Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization
Organisation des directeurs des musées d’art canadiens
400-280, rue Metcalfe St, Ottawa ON K2P 1R7

ISBN: 978-0-9879716-2-3

With the participation of:

Art Gallery of Windsor
Art Gallery of Ontario
McMaster University Museum of Art
Royal Ontario Museum / Musée royal de l’Ontario
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Winnipeg Art Gallery

With the support of:

Musée des beaux-arts Montréal / Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Contents

List of Acronyms

AAM
American Alliance of Museums
AAMD
Association of Art Museum Directors (formerly American Association of Museums)
AGH
Art Gallery of Hamilton
ALIU
Art Looting Intelligence Unit
CAMDO-ODMAC
Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization
CHERP
Canadian Holocaust Era Provenance Research and Best Practice Guidelines Projects
CHIN / RCIP
Canadian Heritage Information Network
CJC
Canadian Jewish Congress
CMA / AMC
Canadian Museums Association
ECLA
Commission for Looted Art in Europe
ERR
Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg
FOFA
Gallery Faculty of Fine Arts [gallery]
HARP
Holocaust Art Restitution Project
HMSO
Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
HURI
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
IFAR
International Foundation for Art Research
INHA
Institut national d’histoire de l’art
LACMA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
MCCP / PRC de Munich
Munich Central Collecting Point
MFAA
Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives [program]
MMFA / MBAM
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
MNR
Musées Nationaux Récupération
NGC / MBAC
National Gallery of Canada
NGO / ONG
Non-governmental organization
OMGB
Office for Military Government of Bavaria
OSS
US Office of Strategic Services
PCH
Patrimoine canadien / Canadian Heritage
PCHA
Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States
RKD
Rijkbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie
SLAM / MASL
St. Louis Art Museum
UNIDROIT
International Institute for the Unification of Private Law
WCCP
Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point
WGA
Wiedergutmachungsamt
YIVO
Yiddish Scientific Institute (Yidisher visnshaftlekher institut)
ZADIK
Zentralarchiv des Internationalen Kunsthandels

Preface

The Canadian Holocaust-Era Provenance Research and Best Practice Guidelines Project (CHERP) is an initiative of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO-ODMAC), undertaken with the support of the Government of Canada via the Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage. The goal of CHERP was to develop best-practice guidelines that will empower Canadian art institutions to understand and embrace their stewardship responsibilities in Holocaust-era provenance research, and to undertake their own research in the coming years. In presenting these guidelines, CAMDO-ODMAC joins international research efforts to aid potential claimants worldwide in their pursuit of restitution and justice.

CHERP is a proactive project that grows from the Canadian art museum community’s longstanding desire to participate more broadly in international efforts to undertake Holocaust-era provenance research. CAMDO-ODMAC was a strong voice at the 2001 Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-era Cultural Property (co-organized by the Canadian Museums Association and the Canadian Jewish Congress). In 2007, CAMDO-ODMAC conducted a survey of its members to assess the scope of collections requiring provenance research, and the challenges of undertaking this work. The results of the needs assessment, as well as ongoing discussions with various stakeholders, led to the formulation of CHERP and the development of these best practice guidelines.

At the onset of the project, six CAMDO-ODMAC members volunteered to be the core participants, to allocate resources from their institutions, and to provide access to collections in their care. They are Matthew Teitelbaum (Art Gallery of Ontario), Catharine Mastin (Art Gallery of Windsor), Carol Podedworny (McMaster Museum of Art), Janet Carding (Royal Ontario Museum), Josephine Mills (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery), and Stephen Borys (Winnipeg Art Gallery). In addition, CAMDO-ODMAC members Marc Mayer (National Gallery of Canada) and Nathalie Bondil (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) provided resources and advice to support the project.

As a pilot project, CHERP furthers the goals enunciated in the 1998 Washington Principles by helping to build new provenance research information on museum collections, creating tools to disseminate information for the benefit of potential claimants and other researchers worldwide, and empowering institutions to put the principles of Holocaust-era provenance research into practice.

This key resource document comprises an introduction and two main sections. The first section provides an overview of events and documents related to the history of Holocaust-era provenance research in Canada. A case-study is also presented, namely Gerrit Van Honthorst’s The Duet restituted to the heirs of the Spiro family by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2013. The second section presents a step-by-step guide to carrying out provenance research, and includes references to online and bibliographical research resources worldwide.

Acknowledgements

Many individuals and institutions contributed to the success of this project. In the first place, we wish to acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada via the Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage, without which these Guidelines could not have been prepared.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Anke Kausch (Director, Acquisitions / Provenance at VKS Art Inc.) who authored this document. Anke brought to bear her considerable experience in provenance research in Canadian contexts. She managed the difficult task of balancing the depth of knowledge required for this complex area while also explaining background, procedures, and resources in a clear manner that can support future research.

The CHERP steering committee consisted of Josephine Mills (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery), Stephen Borys (Winnipeg Art Gallery), and Moira McCaffrey (Executive Director, CAMDO-ODMAC), who also served as Project Director.

Six participating CAMDO-ODMAC members, and the institutions they lead, were integral to the success of the project. They are Matthew Teitelbaum and later Stephan Jost (Art Gallery of Ontario), Catharine Mastin (Art Gallery of Windsor), Carol Podedworny (McMaster Museum of Art), Janet Carding and later Josh Basseches (Royal Ontario Museum), Josephine Mills (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery), and Stephen Borys (Winnipeg Art Gallery). Curatorial, collections management, archival, and conservation staff at these institutions generously shared their time and expertise to provide access to artworks and associated records.

We wish to thank Janet Brooke (Provenance Research Specialist) and Nancy Karrels (Research Assistant) for carrying out on-site museum and gallery research that was integral to the development of CHERP, and we also acknowledge contributions by Kate Muller (Fundraising Coordinator).

The CAMDO-ODMAC membership in general is to be commended. They recognized the importance of the organization providing leadership in this key area, and supported the dedication of time and focus required by McCaffrey.

Significant support was provided by the National Gallery of Canada through its sharing of office space and research resources. In particular, Marc Mayer (Director), Paul Lang (Deputy Director and Chief Curator), and Anabelle Kienle Ponka (Associate Curator, European and American Art) were generous in offering guidance and information.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts provided substantial advice drawn from their experience in provenance research, and significant content with the case study included in these Guidelines. Nathalie Bondil (Director and Chief Curator), Danièle Archambault (Registrar and Head of Archives), and Danielle Champagne (Director of the Foundation) all lent assistance.

Dr. Josephine Mills
Chair, Canadian Holocaust-Era Provenance Research and Best Practice Guidelines Project (CHERP)
Director, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Dr. Stephen Borys
Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Moira McCaffrey
Executive Director, CAMDO-ODMAC

1. Introduction

1.1 What is provenance?

The term “provenance” derives from the Latin verb provenire, “to originate”. In the field of art history, provenance refers to an object’s ownership history from the time of its creation to the present day. Traditionally part of art historical practice, provenance research is an important tool for authenticating and attributing works of art. It reveals the historical, social, and economic circumstances in which art was commissioned, created, and collected, and provides insights into the history of taste, patronage, connoisseurship, and art dealing.

A distinguished provenance adds value to a work of art, as does an unbroken ownership history. An object’s ideal provenance would include all owners’ names, dates, and locations of ownership, and means of transference from the time of the artwork’s creation to the present. Complete ownership histories are not the rule but the exception, however, and most works of art have gaps in provenance.

The process of finding every owner and each transaction in which an object has changed hands in the past can be a time consuming and difficult process, and in many cases an object’s complete ownership history can never be traced.

1.2 Characteristics of WWII-era provenance research

From 1933, with Hitler’s ascent to power, through to the end of World War II in 1945, the National Socialists (Nazis) conducted a massive seizure of art and cultural property throughout the European continent. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of works of art were looted or otherwise misappropriated from mainly Jewish art collections in the countries occupied by the Nazis throughout Europe. Although pillaging of cultural property has always been an instrument of warfare, the scale of systematic looting by the Nazis was unprecedented in history.

While the majority of stolen works of art were returned to their rightful owners in the immediate post-war years, large numbers of objects entered new collections – private and public – through the international art market. It is estimated that worldwide about 100,000 artworks are still misplaced today.

Since the late 1990s museums around the world have become increasingly concerned with art that was purchased, sold, or created during the Nazi-era. The main reason for this renewed awareness has been the declassification of archival documents related to Nazi-looted art in the United States, and the opening of archival resources in Eastern Europe due to the fall of the Iron Curtain. These events revealed that large quantities of cultural objects from Western European public and private collections, thought to have been lost forever, were in fact kept in Eastern Europe. Legal claims by Holocaust victims and their heirs, whose artworks were pillaged by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945, have raised awareness of an increased need for provenance research in museums and other cultural institutions not only in relation to existing collections but also with regards to new acquisitions. Extensive global press coverage of prominent art restitution cases such as the Schwabing Art Trove and films like The Rape of Europa, Monuments Men, and Woman in Gold have finally brought the issue to the attention of the general public.

World War II-era provenance research is a highly specialized field that is not usually addressed in academic art history programs. It is interdisciplinary in nature and requires specific expertise. Researchers must be familiar with methods of art historical, historical, as well as genealogical research. They need to be informed about WWII politics and military history, Nazi looting practices in the German-occupied countries, collecting activities by certain Nazi officials, and the removal of so-called “degenerate” art from German museum collections, and be aware of certain dealers and scholars who facilitated Nazi art looting activities.

Researchers also need to educate themselves about where to look for information related to Nazi looting and post-war restitution. A number of European and North American archives hold such information, and in recent years several databases have become available online that facilitate provenance research considerably, saving researchers time and travel costs. Foreign language skills, German especially, are useful since some related resources are not available in English or French. Patience and perseverance are also assets. Provenance research resembles detective work and a successful outcome is not always guaranteed.

Nazi-looted art continues to be a serious concern for anyone working in the art field today. It is therefore important that museum professionals be informed about the issues related to Holocaust-era looted art, learn how to examine their collections for pieces that may have been misappropriated by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945, and prevent such objects from entering public collections through acquisition or donation.

The AAM Guide to Provenance Research (2001) by Nancy H. Yeide, Konstantin Akinsha and Amy L. Walsh, is an excellent introduction and extremely useful manual for researchers in this field. This volume contains a trove of information related to Holocaust-era art looting.

2. Holocaust-era provenance research in Canada

2.1 Background

It is incorrect to assume that Canada has not been affected by Nazi art-looting activities due to its distance from continental Europe. In fact, the art market was very active during and after the Second World War, and many Canadian cultural institutions purchased works of art on the international market during the post-war decades without paying much attention to provenance. Therefore, the probability of finding Nazi-spoliated art in Canadian public collections today should not be underestimated.

In 1998, the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets raised awareness of the need to conduct in-depth research into museum collections to identify works of art that were looted during WWII. Canada was among 44 governments and 13 NGOs to endorse the Washington Conference Principles On Nazi-Confiscated Art (Appendix A).

The Principles include the following:

During the same year, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) issued the Report of the AAMD Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933-1945) (Appendix B), which urged that museums make serious efforts to conduct research into objects in their collections.

The guidelines include the following:

In 1999, CAMDO-ODMAC adopted guidelines patterned closely after those issued by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).

The American Association of Museums (AAM) drafted their own guidelines in 1999 to assist member museums in identifying and publicizing possible looted artworks in their collections. Then in 2001, the AAM, AAMD, and PCHA (Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States) issued joint standards: The AAM Recommended Procedures for Providing Information to the Public about Objects Transferred in Europe during the Nazi Era.

In October of 2000, the International Forum on Holocaust Era Looted Cultural Assets was held in Vilnius, Lithuania, with the support of the Council of Europe as a follow-up to the 1998 Washington Conference. Canada, as one of 38 governments, adopted the Vilnius Forum Declaration (Appendix C), which can be regarded as a ratification of earlier agreements. Among other points the Vilnius Declaration asks that each government maintain or establish a central reference and point of inquiry to provide information and help on any query regarding looted cultural assets, archives, and claims in each country.

In 2001, the National Gallery of Canada hosted the Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-Era Cultural Property (Appendix D) to exchange information and expertise on the present state and future prospects of Holocaust-era research in Canadian public art museum collections. This symposium was jointly organized by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), with major support from the National Gallery of Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO-ODMAC), the Gelmont Foundation, and Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses. Its goal was to explore the complex historical, research, legal, and moral issues and challenges posed by the potential presence of Nazi-spoliated cultural property in Canadian museum collections, and to develop recommendations toward a national strategy to address these issues with the diligence and professionalism they demand.

The symposium recommendations included the following:

Following these recommendations, most major Canadian art museums have since identified works from their collections with Nazi-era provenance gaps, and posted them on their websites. As of April 2017, the National Gallery of Canada lists 105 works (https://www.gallery.ca/research/provenance); the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts lists 71 works (https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/collections/provenance-research-project/); the Art Gallery of Ontario lists 46 works (http://www.ago.net/spoliation-research); the Vancouver Art Gallery lists 7 works (https://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/collection_and_research/provenance.html); and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery lists 15 works (http://beaverbrookartgallery.org/en/collection/spoliation-research).

In 2002, acting on behalf of the three university heirs of the Estate of Dr. Max Stern, Concordia University in Montreal launched the Max Stern Art Restitution Project. Max Stern (1904-1987) was a German Jewish art dealer from Düsseldorf, who fled the Nazi regime and relocated in Canada during the Second World War. The heirs are seeking the restitution of works of art originally owned by Stern that were either confiscated by the Nazis or sold under duress in the 1930s. While Stern managed to recover a few pieces of his former holdings after WWII, the majority of his property was never returned. Since Concordia University initiated the project, 400 artworks previously owned by Stern have been identified, including pieces by Brueghel, Bosch, Carracci, and Winterhalter. Sixteen paintings have been successfully recovered thus far.

In 2006, the travelling exhibition Auktion 392 was mounted by the FOFA gallery, Concordia University. Auktion 392 was created by Professor Catherine MacKenzie in collaboration with gallery coordinator Lynn Beavis, and MA students from Concordia’s Department of Art History. The exhibit focused on the 1937 forced sale of Stern artworks by the Lempertz auction house in Cologne, and pointed out the challenges confronting victims of Nazi persecution who seek the return of art sold under duress. The exhibit has since been shown at various international locations.

In 2007, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) launched the NGC Provenance Research Project. The Gallery’s Foundation endowed a two-year position for a researcher to conduct Nazi-era provenance research on the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collection of European Art. More than 140 paintings and sculptures with gaps in provenance between 1933-1945, which had been in continental Europe during this period, were thoroughly examined. A clear chain of ownership could be established in 47 cases. In the spring of 2009, Dr. Anabelle Kienle Ponka, the NGC’s Associate Curator for European and American Art, and provenance researcher Anke Kausch, presented a session entitled “Holocaust Era Cultural Property: Workshop on Research Methodology” at the national conference of the Canadian Museums Association in Toronto. The session provided an overview of prominent restitution cases with potential implications for Canadian institutions, as well as offering practical advice on how to conduct provenance research including guidelines, tips, resources, and case studies. In 2014, another researcher was hired to continue provenance research on the NGC’s permanent collection. Kirsten Appleyard held the position of Sobey Chief Curator Fellow in Provenance Research from October 2014 to August 2015, and will hold the position of Curatorial Assistant and Provenance Researcher from December 2016 until May 2018.

Over the past few years the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts have periodically engaged independent researchers to assist them with routine checks on new acquisitions and the examination of critical cases in their permanent collections. Funding for permanent provenance research positions in cultural institutions, as exist in numerous museums in Europe and the United States, has thus far not been available in Canada.

In 2007, acting upon the recommendations of the Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-era Cultural Property cited above, and with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, CAMDO-ODMAC undertook a survey of its membership in an attempt to quantify for the first time, the nature and magnitude of the issue of Holocaust-looted art and related provenance research for Canada’s museum community. In its Report on Provenance Research Needs for Holocaust-Era Cultural Property in Canadian Art Museums (Appendix E), CAMDO-ODMAC reached a number of conclusions based on the data collected in the survey, and presented options for future strategies by stakeholders:

The 2007 survey identified 822 works of art in Canadian museums with ownership history gaps between the years 1933-1945. Survey responses were received from a majority, but not all member institutions with collections of European art. Therefore, the actual number of works with Nazi-era provenance gaps in Canadian museums may be considerably higher.

In 2009, an international conference on various Holocaust-related topics was held in Terezin, Czech Republic (formerly Theresienstadt). Canada was a signatory, among 47 countries and non-governmental organizations, to the Terezin Declaration (Appendix F), which re-emphasizes the importance of the Washington Principles and calls on governments to ensure that their legal systems or alternative processes facilitate “just and fair solutions” with regards to the restitution of Nazi-looted art (http://www.holocausteraassets.eu/en/news-archive/detail/terezin-declaration/).

In 2013, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization launched the Canadian Holocaust-Era Provenance Research and Best Practice Guidelines Project (CHERP) with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage via its Museums Assistance Program. This project aimed to develop and disseminate best-practice standards and guidelines for use by the Canadian museum community in their future work in this urgent international research effort. Six Canadian art museums participated in the project: the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Windsor, McMaster Museum of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, and Winnipeg Art Gallery. In preparation for the development of these guidelines, two researchers assessed and examined a number of artworks from each of the participating institutions.

With the present Best Practice Guidelines: Holocaust-Era Provenance Research in Canadian Art Museums and Galleries, CAMDO-ODMAC is contributing background information, resources, and a practical research tool to assist Canadian museum professionals in examining art collections for paintings with incomplete or uncertain WWII ownership histories. The Guidelines should also help to prevent artworks that have been looted or otherwise misappropriated during the Holocaust from entering Canadian public collections in the future.

2.2 Restitutions in Canadian art museums and galleries


Édouard Vuillard
(French 1868-1940), Le Salon de Madame Aron, 1904, National Gallery of Canada

In 2006, the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) approved the deaccessioning from the collection of Édouard Vuillard’s painting Le Salon de Madame Aron when provenance research indicated that the artwork had been plundered by the Nazis during World War II. It was returned to the heirs of Alfred Lindon.

The NGC had purchased the painting in 1956 from the Galerie Dubourg in Paris. A first attempt to document the work in the 1970s revealed that it had belonged to a collector named Bellanger and later to Paul Strecker, who died in 1950. In 1997, however, the original typewritten Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre 1939-1945 was republished, and listed a work by Jean [sic] Vuillard entitled Intérieur, belonging to the Lindon family. Alfred Lindon was a French businessman of Jewish descent who died in 1948. 

The NGC’s first attempt to return the painting to the Lindon family in 2000 failed. Jacques Lindon, Alfred Lindon’s son, twice refused the painting, stating that it had never belonged to him or to his family. The painting was then listed on the NGC’s Provenance Research website. Three years later, the National Gallery received proof from the French government that Jacques Lindon’s father, Alfred, had indeed owned the painting in 1940. Represented by Denis Lindon, the family then undertook legal proceedings and Le Salon de Madame Aron became theirs once again.


Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch 1592-1656), The Duet, 1623-1624, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

In 2013, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) returned The Duet by Gerrit van Honthorst, a master of the Caravaggesque school of Utrecht, to the heirs of the Spiro family. Provenance research revealed that the painting had been taken from their forebears Ellen and Bruno Spiro through a forced sale in Germany in 1938. It had entered the MMFA’s collection in 1969, when the Museum had purchased the artwork in good faith, without knowledge of its true origin (http://www.mbam.qc.ca/bibliotheque/media/pressrelease-honthorst-and-waldmuller-mmfa.pdf).


Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck
(Dutch 1597-1662),
Portrait of a Lady, 1652, Art Gallery of Hamilton

In 2014, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) deaccessioned the painting Portrait of a Lady by Dutch 17th-century artist Johannes Verspronck. The artwork was returned to Sarah Solmssen, great-granddaughter-in-law of Alma Bertha Salomonsohn, who was the wife of Arthur Salomonsohn, Chairman of the Board of the Deutsche Bank. The Nazis confiscated Salomonsohn’s art collection in 1940. The AGH had received detailed documentation to support the Solmssen family’s claim, explaining the circumstances surrounding the loss of the work. Portrait of a Lady had entered the AGH’s collection through donation by the AGH Volunteer Committee, which had purchased it at auction in 1987 (http://www.artgalleryofhamilton.com/agh_news/AGH_Restitution_MediaRelease.pdf).

Case Study: Gerrit van Honthorst, The Duet

On April 23, 2013, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) returned Gerrit van Honthorst‘s The Duet to Gerald Matthes, the grandson of Bruno Spiro, who was a wealthy Hamburg merchant of Jewish origin. The MMFA had purchased the 17th-century painting in good faith from an art gallery in 1969. The restitution was the result of in-depth provenance research led by the MMFA’s Archives Department, and the receipt of new information from representatives of the family.

Gerrit van Honthorst’s The Duet entered the MMFA’s permanent collection in 1969. According to the catalogue raisonné [J. Richard Judson and Rudolf E. O. Ekkart. Gerrit van Honthorst, 1592-1656. Doornspijk: Davaco, 1999, cat. no. 255 p. 197], the painting’s ownership history had a gap between 1931 when it was sold from the Hermitage collection, Saint Petersburg, through the Berlin auction house Lepke, to 1945 when it was with a “Dr. Wilham, Hofgeismar”, Germany [Judson and Ekkart misspelled the name in their catalogue raisonné. Wilham was identified as Dr. Wilharm]. For the period between 1931 and 1945, Judson and Ekkart list the work’s inclusion in several Berlin auctions, but its actual owner remained unknown.

This provenance gap was eventually filled by consulting several German archives. The lostart.de database, where the painting was listed as “singing couple – possibly identical with Honthorst’s Duet”, led to documents at the Landesarchiv Berlin, which identified Ellen Spiro as owner of the work. These documents, however, included no image and described the painting merely as “singing, couple, 17th century” – a description too vague to serve as evidence (http://www.lostart.de/Webs/EN/Datenbank/EinzelobjektSucheSimpel.html?param=EOBJ_ID%3D429307%26SUCHE_ID%3D1690184%26_page%3D0%26_sort%3D%26_anchor%3Did4406).

Ellen Spiro was the wife of Bruno Spiro – a wealthy arms dealer and well-known art collector. Bruno Spiro was arrested by the Nazis in 1936 and committed suicide the same year in the concentration camp Fuhlsbüttel (Hamburg). The Spiros, who were both Jewish, owned a large mansion in Berlin but had their main residence in Hamburg. It turned out that the Hamburg State Archives held a vast trove of archival material related to the Spiro family.

Ellen Spiro, who immigrated to Great Britain in 1939, was forced to give up all her assets to the Nazi regime. After the war, she temporarily moved back to Hamburg and attempted to reclaim some of her lost property. She finally received several compensation payments by the German government and a life pension. The archival material in Hamburg – mainly court documents regarding Bruno Spiro’s arrest and Ellen Spiro’s claim for compensation – also contained a handwritten deed by Bruno Spiro dated October 7, 1931, which mentioned the painting as “couple playing music by Honthorst” on display in the music room of the Spiro’s Berlin mansion. This document eventually served as proof that the Montreal painting was in fact Bruno Spiro’s property, and from October 7, 1931 until March 1938, was owned by his wife Ellen. Ellen Spiro was forced to give up the Berlin house to the Nazi regime without receiving proper compensation, and had to sell its contents below market value, including the painting by Honthorst. A list issued by the “Union” auction house, Berlin, dated March 25, 1938, as well as a “Union” auction catalogue from April 26, 1938, which also provides an image of the work, show that the painting was included in a “forced sale”.

Gerrit van Honthorst: The Duet

The provenance report for Gerrit van Honthorst’s The Duet – including description, provenance, and notes – is presented below. The report was prepared by Anke Kausch in 2012, and is reproduced here with the permission of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Minor editorial changes and omissions have been made to facilitate reproduction of the document in this format.

Provenance Report by Anke Kausch, January 2012
(on file at MMFA, curatorial files)

Gerrit van Honthorst (Utrecht 1592 Utrecht 1656)

The Duet, 1623-1624
Oil on canvas, 79.1 × 95.3 cm
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Inv. no.1969.1639

Marks, labels, inscriptions:

Frame (put on upside down at a later date)
Upper element:Right element:Lower element:

“BAS” (ballpoint)

“1600” (blue pencil)

mit Gravierung” (blue pencil)

“(1430)”; “1600”; “x”; Bohler” (blue pencil, all same hand)

“890L” (or in reverse “1068”) (pencil)

Stretcher
Top element:Left element:Transverse bar:

“rey [?] NVIII”; N62 Delanotte (black crayon) (n.b. during his sojourn in Italy, Honthorst was known as Gherardo Delanotte)

SEGURA A.? no.615 (or Secura) (rectangular stamp)

“L88” (red pencil);

“162” (white chalk, faint)

“850”; “1375” (blue pencil)

Canvas verso

Rectangular stamp: “SEGURA A.? no. 615 (stretcher) 
Erased illegible inscription (Delanotte?)

Provenance

The main source for this provenance is J. Richard Judson and Rudolf E.O. Ekkart’s catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 255 [J. Richard Judson and Rudolf E.O. Ekkart. Gerrit van Honthorst, 1592-1656. Doornspijk: Davaco, 1999, p. 197]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

By 1793–1919
The Counts Stroganoff, Saint Petersburg, Russia, by inheritance [1]
1919–1931/05/12
Hermitage State Museum, Saint Petersburg, Soviet Union, confiscated from the Stroganoff collection [2]
1931/05/12
In auction of Sammlung Stroganoff, Leningrad at Rudolph Lepke auction house, Berlin, Germany, May 12, 1931, lot 37[3]
By 1931/10/07
Bruno Richard Spiro (Feb.24, 1875 – Sept.29, 1936), Hamburg, Germany [4]
1931/10/07–1938/04/26
Ellen Clara Spiro, née Herz (Jan. 19, 1884 – Jul. 7, 1977), Hamburg, Germany, given by her husband Bruno R. Spiro [5]
–1945
Dr. Karl Wilharm (1877-1956), Hofgeismar, Germany [6]
1945–1949
Dr. Poggenpohl, Hanover, Germany
1949–1952
E. Pfeiffer, Hanover, Germany
1952– March 1968
Dr. H. Braun, Hanover, Germany, co-owned with Wertheimer [7]
March 1968 – November 1969
Kunsthandel AG, Lucerne, Switzerland (Julius Harry Böhler, 1907-1979), purchased from Dr. H. Braun and Wertheimer [8]
1969– present
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, purchased with the assistance of the Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest and William Gilman Cheney Bequest from Kunsthandel AG, Lucerne [9]

Notes

[1] Gerrit van Honthorst’s The Duet is mentioned by Gustav Friedrich Waagen as part of the Stroganoff collection [Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Gemäldesammlungen in der Kaiserlichen Ermitage zu St. Petersburg. Munich 1864, p. 404]. The painting remained in the possession of the Stroganoff family until 1919, when their art collection was nationalized by the Soviet government and integrated into the Hermitage State Museum collection.

[2] See note [1]. In May 1931 the painting was sold by the Soviet government through the Berlin auction house of Rudolph Lepke [Rudolph Lepke, May 12, 1931, cat. no. 37, http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/lepke1931_05_12/0049, http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/lepke1931_05_12/0050]. It was estimated at 4000 Reichsmark and according to a handwritten note in the auction catalogue, sold to an unknown buyer for 2400 Reichsmark [Lepke auction, May 12, 1931, Knoedler Library on microform, art auction catalogues. New York: Knoedler; Teaneck, N.J.: Chadwyck-Healey, 1973].

[3] See note [2]. Since the 1920s the Stalinist government had sold objects from Soviet museum collections in order to raise funds to purchase industrial equipment from the West. The Berlin auction house of Rudolph Lepke was one of the main venues for the sale of Soviet museum treasures. The Stroganoff collection sale at Lepke consisted of about 200 objects. Members of the Stroganoff family protested the sale, but had no legal means of claiming nationalized property [Yeide, Nancy, Konstantin Akinsha and Amy Walsh. The AAM Guide to Provenance Research. Washington 2001, p. 135].

[4] Bruno Richard Spiro possibly purchased the painting at the Lepke auction in May 1931. Spiro was a wealthy arms dealer of Jewish descent from Hamburg, Germany. Five months after the Lepke auction, in a handwritten document, dated October 7, 1931, Spiro mentions the painting as “musizierendes Paar” (a couple making music) by Honthorst, [p. 2 line 8], on display in the music room of his Berlin mansion. In this document Bruno Spiro transfers the ownership of his stately Berlin house on Heerstraße 85 with all its contents, including the Honthorst painting, to his wife Ellen Clara Spiro, née Herz [deed, Hamburg State Archive, 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 7076 Austin, Ellen Clara (verw. Spiro), 1953-1968, document 351-11_7076 (93) - 351-11_7076 (95). The document bears the signatures of Bruno Spiro, his wife Ellen, and the signature and seal of a notary].

[5] Ellen Clara (also “Ella”) Spiro married Bruno Spiro in 1916. The couple resided in Hamburg, St. Benediktstr.13, Germany, and also owned a large mansion in Berlin. See note [4]. Both were Jewish. Bruno Spiro was arrested in July 1936 and charged with tax evasion and currency offence. He committed suicide on September 29, 1936 in the concentration camp Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg [Hamburg State Archive, 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 7076 Austin, Ellen Clara (verw. Spiro) 1953-1968, death certificate, document 351-11_7076 (237)]. His wife Ellen, who had also been arrested, was released after his death and left Germany for Great Britain three years later, in August 1939. Through the move, she lost most of her assets to the Nazi government. She remarried in London in 1940 and took on the name Austin. In 1953, three years after her husband’s death, Ellen Austin moved back to Hamburg [Hamburg State Archive, 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 7076 Austin, Ellen Clara (verw. Spiro), 1953-1968, applications for compensation, documents 351-11 7076 (151-162), (828-829)]. With the help of her lawyers, her requests for compensation for damages suffered during the Nazi era were accepted by the German government and she received several restitution payments, as well as a pension from 1953 until her death on July 7, 1977 [Hamburg State Archive, 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 7076 Austin, Ellen Clara (verw. Spiro), 1953-1968, 351-11_7076 documents 326, 608-611, 1164].

In her applications for compensation to the German government, Honthorst’s The Duet is not specifically mentioned. Ellen Spiro apparently attempted to sell Honthorst’s Duet in 1934 and again in 1937, to no avail. The painting was up for auction at Gemälde neuerer Meister der Sammlung St.-Berlin; alte und neuerer Gemälde aus Privatbesitz. [Rudolph Lepke auction house, Berlin, Germany, sale 2074, April 25, 1934, lot. no. 55, http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/lepke1934_04_25/0012; Gemälde alter und neuerer Meister, Antiquitäten, Möbel und Kunstgewerbe at Rudolph Lepke auction house, Berlin, Germany, sale 2116, November 4, 1937, lot. no. 162c, http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/lepke1937_11_04/0020].

In 1938, the Spiro’s Berlin mansion was taken over by the Nazi government [Hamburg State Archive, 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 7076 Austin, Ellen Clara (verw. Spiro), 1953-1968, application for compensation, documents 351-11_7076 (47), (161)]. Ellen Spiro was forced to sell its contents and consigned them to the auction house “Union” (owned by Leo Spik), Berlin, Germany. In her “auction order” (“Versteigerungs-Auftrag”), dated March 25, 1938, the painting is listed as “painting, 17th century, singing couple”, lot. no. 244, and estimated at 200 Reichsmark [Landesarchiv Berlin, LAB A Rep. 243-04, Nr. 61]. The painting sold at auction on April 26, 1938 to an unknown buyer [Versteigerungshaus “Union” (Leo Spik), sale no. 2068, Berlin, Germany. The Knoedler Library on microform: art auction catalogues, New York: Knoedler; Teaneck, N.J., Chadwyck-Healey, 1973.

[6] In their catalogue raisonné Judson and Ekkart mistakenly recorded the owner’s name as “Wilham”. Karl Wilharm, is known for having purchased Franz-Xaver Winterhalter’s Girl from the Sabine Mountains in a “forced sale”. The painting was recovered by the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, Montreal, in 2008.

[7] According to the stock book of the Kunsthandel AG Lucerne, the painting was purchased in March 1968 from Dr. H. Braun. The latter is possibly identical to the art historian Dr. Hermann Braun (b.1928), who published a dissertation on Gerrit van Honthorst at the University of Göttingen in 1966. A note in the stock book indicates that the painting was co-owned by a person named Wertheimer [Kunsthandel AG, Lucerne, stock book 1968, no. 10755, Julius Böhler Archive, Bayerisches Wirtschaftsarchiv, Munich, Germany].

[8] See note [6].

[9] The painting was purchased by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in 1969 from Kunsthandel AG, Lucerne [correspondence between Julius Böhler, owner of Kunsthandel AG, and David G. Carter, director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, November 5, 1969, MMFA curatorial file].

3. Tracing Nazi-looted art: a step-by-step guide

Provenance research requires that a meticulous series of steps be followed. A step-by-step guide is outlined below, and listed in the CHERP Provenance Research Checklist (Appendix G).

3.1 Objects that need to be examined

All works of art that were acquired after 1932 and created before 1946, and have been in continental Europe during this time period, need to be examined.

If objects in this category have gaps in provenance or an unclear ownership history between 1933-1945, they need to be set aside for comprehensive research. This includes objects from the permanent collections, as well as all new acquisitions and donations.

Maintaining a research log for each case is highly recommended. All research steps should be thoroughly recorded in order to maintain a clear overview of what has been and what still needs to be done. List all resources that have been checked and briefly summarize your findings.

3.2 Assembling provenance information

3.2.1 The object

The object – a painting in the case of these guidelines – is the most important primary document for provenance research. Recto and verso should be carefully inspected for marks, labels, seals, stamps, and inscriptions. If the frame has been part of the object’s history, it should be similarly studied. Once a preliminary examination has taken place, the painting should be removed from its frame and housing materials, and all elements should be re-examined.

Dealer labels, custom stamps, exhibition stickers, wax seals with family crests or monograms, inventory numbers, and transport stamps can provide invaluable first-hand provenance information. If physical access to the work is impossible, photos of the object’s verso can often be found in the conservation files.

All findings should be photographed.


 Multiple labels, inscriptions and wax seals on the versos of a pair of paintings by Willem Van Mieris in the collection of the MMFA.


Verso of Edgar Degas, Woman with Umbrella (Berthe Jeantaud), c. 1876 [National Gallery of Canada, no. 15838], showing multiple labels, stamps, and inscriptions

Custom stamps can be identified by contacting the national customs administration of the respective country. For the identification of collectors’ marks and stamps, consult: http://www.marquesdecollections.fr/index.cfm?lang=2.

The Nazis often marked confiscated artworks with collection codes [e.g., R followed by a number stands for Rothschild, SEL for the prominent Paris art dealer Seligmann]. A list of codes used by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (a Nazi Party organization that seized cultural property during the Second World War) is provided in the AAM Guide for Provenance Research (2001), Appendix K, and can also be found online at https://www.errproject.org/jeudepaume/collection_list.php.


The inscription AR 848 (on the verso of a painting by Berchem in the collection of the MMFA) is a code that was used by the Gestapo for artworks from the collection of Alphons von Rothschild, Vienna. This work was confiscated in May 1938 and destined for Hitler’s Linz Museum, but at the time of the Allied bombing was instead stored underground in the Alt Aussee salt mines near Salzburg. It was recovered by American troops at the end of WWII and brought to the Munich Central Collecting Point. The painting was restituted to the Austrian State on April 25, 1946, and returned to Clarice de Rothschild, Alphons von Rothschild’s widow, in 1947. The red seal on the verso of the same painting could be identified as that of the Domville baronetcy of St. Alban’s in the County of Hertford, UK, indicating that the work had been in possession of the Domville family during the 19th century before entering the Rothschild collection.


The number 27921 on the verso of Benozzo Gozzoli’s The Virgin and Child with SS. Gregory, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Julian, Dominic, and Francis [National Gallery of Canada, no. 6084] was identified as a Munich Central Collecting Point inventory number, matching an inventory card in the Munich

3.2.2 Institutional files

Curatorial files, conservation files, donor files, correspondence files, and institutional archives should be carefully examined for provenance information on the respective object.

Alternate titles and former attributions of the object should be noted and made a part of the search when consulting library and online resources. One should also take into account that there might be different versions of the object by the same artist.

The conservation files may contain clues to a possible change in the object’s physical appearance. Details in a painting might have been over-painted or removed, or a canvas or panel might have been cropped. For example, the fig leaf on Lucas Cranach’s Venus at the NGC was found to be a later addition to the work and has been removed by the NGC’s conservators https://www.gallery.ca/collection/artwork/venus-0.

3.2.3 Library research

Library research should be based on information gathered from the object’s examination and institutional files. 

Consulting the appropriate catalogue raisonné, if there is one, is a good starting point. Catalogues raisonnés are scholarly compilations of an artist’s body of work and are critical tools for researching ownership history and attribution. An online database of published catalogues raisonnés and catalogues in preparation can be found on the website of the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR).

All publications, including journal articles and exhibition catalogues, listed in the curatorial files in relation to the object should be carefully checked, as well as other publications about the artist, art movement, etc.

All published information available about the object should be assembled. If publications are not available at your institutional library, they can be located at worldcat.org and ordered via inter-library loan.

Provenance information appearing in publications should always be examined critically. It should not be taken for granted that all published provenance information is correct. Sometimes mistakes are passed down from one author to the next. Ideally, published information should be verified with additional documentation.

3.2.4 Online research

In recent years, numerous databases that list Nazi-looted art have become available online, facilitating provenance research considerably, and saving valuable time and travel costs.

All objects that have been in continental Europe between 1933 and 1945, with gaps in provenance during this time period, should be searched in the databases listed below.

The list that follows should serve as a basic research tool. Although by no means comprehensive, it is a good starting point for researching an object with an unclear ownership history.

Lostart.de
Operated by the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, this database registers cultural objects that were relocated, moved, or seized, especially from Jewish owners, as a result of persecution under the Nazi dictatorship and World War II. The database lists objects that are still missing, as well as objects that are known to have been unlawfully misappropriated by the Nazis during WWII.
Munich Central Collecting Point (MCCP) database
This database contains property cards and photographs of art objects that passed through the MCCP, one of four collecting points established by the U.S. army at the end of WWII to store art objects that were discovered in the American Zone of Occupation in Germany. The MCCP processed objects from collections outside Germany. It includes about 170,000 entries and 300,000 images.
Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point (WCCP) database
This database contains property cards that document the movement and disposition of mainly German-owned looted objects from the Nazi era. The cards describe books, works of art, and other objects, and name their presumed owners.
Linz Collection Database
This database contains about 6,700 works of art, of which the majority were misappropriated from Jewish collections. These works were destined for a monumental art museum that Hitler had planned for his hometown of Linz, Austria. It was never built.
Göring Collection database
This database contains about 4,200 objects from the private art collection of Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. Many of these works were confiscated from Jewish collections or acquired in forced sales.
The Getty Provenance Index Databases

Provides three databases:

  • Archival Inventories – Inventories and other documents from city, state, and national archives, containing works of art from private collections in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, dating between 1550-1840.
  • Sales Catalogues – Works of art from auction catalogues covering sales in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, dating between 1650-1945.
  • Public Collections – Description and provenance of paintings dating between 1500-1990 by artists born before 1900 in American and British public institutions.
ERR database
The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) was the Nazi task force in charge of confiscations of art collections of primarily Jewish properties in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. This database contains about 20,000 art objects taken from Jewish collections in Nazi-occupied France and Belgium between 1940-1944.
Le Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre 1939-1945

Le Répertoire contains information about looted property in France. Vol. II (and its supplements) is dedicated to works of art, and is based on Rose Valland’s invaluable notes. During the Nazi occupation of France, Rose Valland (1898-1980) was working at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris where she secretly recorded all activities of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR,) the German art looting agency. Valland risked her life by keeping meticulous records of the destination of each shipment of looted art from the Jeu de Paume, which greatly facilitated postwar investigations for their recovery.

Owner’s names are listed. Contains some photographs. [In searchable PDF format on lootedart.com]

For example, Ruben’s Stormy Landscape, now in the collection of the NGC, is listed in Le Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre 1939-1945 as seized from the collection of Adolphe Schloss, Paris. The painting was restituted to the heirs of Adolphe Schloss shortly after WWII.

“Degenerate Art” database
An index of “degenerate art” – all Modern art that was considered “un-German”, Jewish, or Communist in nature, and was removed from German public art collections by the Nazis in 1937.

3.2.5 Collectors and art dealers

In many cases major works of art passed through the hands of wealthy individuals, who often held prominent positions and are therefore relatively easy to trace through library or online research. The following databases list the names of prominent collectors and art dealers.

Lesser known former owners or art dealers might be traceable by searching postal and telephone directories, ancestry.com, Who’s Who, peerage and gentry publications, business guides, obituaries, and newspaper archives.

Collectors who are still alive and art dealers who are still in business should be contacted by mail or email. Provide a detailed explanation for your inquiry, including images, inventory numbers, etc. in order to facilitate a search in their personal archives. Recognize that art dealers protect their sources and are committed to confidentiality towards their clients, so they often will not be willing to disclose names, especially if the sale was relatively recent.

The Getty Research Institute Collectors Files
The Collectors Files comprise about 20,000 folders with information on international collectors, dealers, auctioneers, and art institutions from the late Middle Ages to the present, containing published and unpublished material such as photocopies of inventories, sales catalogues, articles, genealogical references, scholars’ notes, and similar resources.
The Frick Collection Center for the History of Collecting
This searchable archives directory assists in locating primary source material about American art collectors, dealers, agents, and advisors, and the repositories that hold these records.
Getty Provenance Index Databases – Archival Inventories
Contains documents from private and public archives that list objects from a household. The inventories in this database list works of art from private collections in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and France, from 1550 to 1840. Accessible online through the Getty Provenance Index Databases.
List of Jewish collectors and art dealers who were subject to Nazi persecution and confiscations
Provides basic information about each person – life dates, address, profession, their fate, their collection, the circumstances of its confiscation and restitution (if applicable), as well as sources. Online on the lostart.de website. In German only.
Landesarchiv Berlin WGA database
Online database for the records of the Berlin restitution office, which was founded in 1949 and was responsible for reviewing and settling claims for the restitution of identifiable property to victims of Nazi persecution. The WGA Database contains information transcribed from index cards for the case files from the Berlin Restitution Offices, listing the claimants, the injured parties, the defendant, and the property claimed. The project aims to facilitate provenance research by providing a publicly accessible online database of the more than 800,000 restitution case files housed at the Berlin State Archive.
Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names
Contains the names and biographical details of four and a half of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust (Shoah).
Jewish Businesses in Berlin 1930-45 database
Contains key information on more than 8,000 companies that were regarded as Jewish and therefore persecuted from 1933 onwards. The database provides the name of the company, its address, legal form, economic sector, the date of the entry of a company into the commercial register, the date of its deletion, changes of the owners or managers, and all references. The database also holds the raw data of another 44,000 companies that could not be identified as Jewish.
Leo Baeck Institute
A repository of archival material on German-Jewish history and culture, containing more than 10,000 archival records, 2,000 memoirs, 25,000 photographs, 80,000 books, and 1,600 periodicals. Its digitized collection is searchable online through the DigiBaeck database.
Archives of American Art
Contains about 6,000 collections of American art professionals, including prolific collectors and art dealers, of which 125 collections are fully digitized and can be searched online.
The Getty Research Institute – Selected Dealer Archives & Locations
Lists locations of art dealers’ archival records, of which some are now held by public archives and some are in private hands. The list was compiled for the AAM Guide to Provenance Research (2001), Appendix D.
Zadik (Zentralarchiv des Internationalen Kunsthandels)
Holds the archival records and correspondence of mostly German galleries and art dealers. Some collections are digitized and searchable online.
RKD (Rijkbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie)
The RKD archives hold extensive collections of Dutch art dealers, collectors, and art scholars.
Kalliope
A German Union Catalog for collections of personal papers, manuscripts, and publishers’ archives, and the German National Information System for these types of materials. Contains about 600,000 names.
Bundesdenkmalamt, Austria
Holds around 1,700 personal files with regard to Nazi-looted art and its restitution. The archives contain detailed information on prolific art collectors such as Bondy, Gutmann, Lanckoronski, Lederer, and Rothschild. The Austrian Commission for Provenance Research is currently in the process of digitizing 11,500 inventory cards of the “Zentraldepot”, a repository for artworks confiscated from Jewish collections in Austria during the “Anschluss” (annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in March 1938).

3.2.6 Auctions

Auction catalogues occasionally list the name of the seller, and many catalogues by Sotheby’s and Christie’s include a list of buyers that can be found attached to the front or back of the catalogue. Some copies of auction catalogues also include handwritten notes in the margins, which disclose the names of buyers and hammer price.

Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and several other auction houses maintain restitution departments today to which one can direct inquiries regarding provenance matters. However, auction houses are committed to confidentiality towards their clients, so they are unlikely to disclose buyer’s or seller’s names if the sale was recent. They may sometimes be willing to forward a letter to the seller or purchaser of the work in question on your behalf.

Getty Provenance Index Databases – Sales Catalogs Files
This database includes more than one million auction catalogue entries from major cities in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, from 1650 to 1945. Accessible online.
German art sales 1933-45
Contains more than 250,000 objects from 3,000 German auction sales from 1930 to 1945. Each record is linked to the full PDF of its corresponding catalogue residing at the website of the Heidelberg University Library. Accessible online. [This database is also integrated into the Getty Provenance Index Database.]
Database of auctions offering art and cultural property in Germany 1933-1945
Lists German auction houses that sold confiscated property from Jewish collections between 1933-1945, and links consignors and buyers who are known to have been involved in these forced sales. In German only, published by lostart.de.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library, Digital Collections
This collection includes digitized auction sales catalogues of the American Art Association, New York, published between 1883-1923, as well as 18th-century French auction catalogues, some of which are hand-annotated.
Art Sales Catalogues Online
Searchable database version of Frits Lugt’s Répertoire des catalogues de ventes publiques, which contains more than 29,000 catalogues published during the years 1600-1900. Includes additions and corrections to the original publication. Lists holdings of auction sales catalogues from various institutions. [Requires a subscription, accessible through institutional libraries.]
Auction catalogues at the National Gallery of Canada library
The NGC holds about 58,000 auction catalogues in its library, which is publicly accessible.
The Knoedler Library art auction catalogues
Comprises about 25,000 microfiches of international auction catalogues, of which many are annotated by Knoedler staff with names of buyers and hammer prices. The catalogues are grouped by country and arranged chronologically by date. Newspaper accounts frequently accompany the catalogues. Available at the NGC library.
Bénézit Dictionary of Artists
Lists auction sales for each artist. Available in print or online by subscription.

Blouin Art Sales Index

Graves, Algernon. Art Sales from Early in the Eighteenth Century to Early in the Twentieth Century. London: A. Graves, 1918-21.

Mireur, Hippolyte. Dictionnaire des ventes d’art faites en France et à l’étranger pendant les XVIIIme & XIXme siècles. Paris: Maisons d’éditions d’œuvres artistiques, 1911-1912.

Annuaire des ventes de l’année. Paris: L. Maurice, 1919-1931.

Art Prices Current. Folkestone: W. Dawson & Sons, 1907-1973.

3.3 Criteria indicating that a work of art may have been the object of Nazi looting between 1933-1945

The following criteria can serve as indicators that an object was possibly involved in an illegal transaction between 1933-1945:

It should be noted that some of the names listed in the ALIU’s Biographical Index of Individuals Involved in Art Looting are of art dealers and collectors who also conducted numerous legal business transactions during the same time period.

If any of the above listed criteria apply, the work in question should be set aside for comprehensive research.

Nazi art collecting priorities

Although the style of an artwork alone can by no means serve as an indicator of its possible involvement in Nazi art theft, researchers should be aware of certain patterns of Nazi collecting.

A number of leading Nazi officials collected art, including Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, and Albert Speer. Their taste in art was mainly retrospective, reflecting Nazi ideology. The main focus was on Old Masters, German as well as Dutch and Flemish, whose art was regarded by the Nazis as manifestations of “Aryan superiority”. Italian and French art dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century was also of special interest to them.

The Nazi’s condemnation of modernism and so-called “degenerate art”, and their systematic removal of modern art from German public institutions in 1937, did not prevent them from legally and illegally acquiring works by modern masters. French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and works by German Expressionists were often confiscated and used in exchange for Old Masters.

3.4 How to record provenance information

Provenance information should be recorded in chronological order from the earliest to the most recent owner. It should be as complete as possible, and include:

  1. Dates (beginning and ending dates of ownership)
  2. Owner’s name (location and life dates )
  3. Method of transfer (e.g., purchase, sale, gift, bequest, inheritance, etc.)

Notes should contain supplemental information regarding dates and ownership, supporting sources, and any other relevant explanatory information. This includes, for example, names of art dealers (as owners or acting as agents), auction information (including lot numbers and sale prices), as well as information about unlawful appropriation during the Nazi era and subsequent restitution.

The National Gallery of Canada has adopted a standardized format for recording provenance data (Appendix H).These guidelines were originally developed by the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM). Dr. Anabelle Kienle Ponka, the NGC’s Associate Curator, European and American Art, collaborated on the development of these guidelines while working at the SLAM, and initiated their adoption by the National Gallery of Canada in 2007. We wish to thank Simon Kelly, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Ella Rothgangel, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s Registrar, and Anabelle Kienle Ponka for permission to publish these guidelines here.

The SLAM/NGC guidelines are exemplary and should serve as a model for Canadian cultural institutions of how to record provenance information. They include detailed annotations and templates for the listing of sources as well as marks and labels. The ownership histories for 105 paintings and sculptures that were created before 1945 and acquired after 1933 are published in this format on the National Gallery of Canada’s Provenance Research website.

Examples of provenance data entered using the SLAM/ NGC guidelines can be found below.

Jacob van Ruisdael, A Waterfall, c. 1660-1670, National Gallery of Canada (no. 5878)

Benozzo Gozzoli, The Virgin and Child with SS. Gregory, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Julian, Dominic, and Francis, c. 1476-1477, National Gallery of Canada (no. 6084)

3.5 Preparing decisions on restitution claims

The 1998 Washington Principles recommend that, “if the pre-War owners of art that is found to have been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted, or their heirs, can be identified, steps should be taken expeditiously to achieve a just and fair solution, recognizing this may vary according to the facts and circumstances surrounding a specific case.”

There are no laws in Canada that regulate how Nazi-looted art should be handled. The Washington Principles are a non-binding “soft law instrument”: they provide recommendations for the restitution of Nazi-looted art in an ethical way and upon a case-by-case examination.

In order to reach a “just and fair solution” it should be remembered that for the families of the victims of Nazi art theft, restitution cases are most likely a very personal and highly emotional matter. In most cases it is not about ownership of a valuable piece of art, but the return of a tangible memory of their deceased family member who was murdered in the Holocaust.

On the other hand, it should be also be acknowledged that the cultural institution, which likely had acquired the object in good faith and without knowledge of its past, has put considerable effort into preserving the artwork over the years and making it accessible to the public.

There are various possibilities that can be considered for resolving Holocaust-era art restitution: 


Gerrit van Honthorst
, Woman Tuning a Lute, 1624. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, purchased in 2014.

When arranging the restitution of Honthorst’s The Duet to the Spiro family in 2014, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts handled the situation in an exemplary manner. The Museum filled the gap in its permanent collection by acquiring Woman Tuning a Lute, a work by the same artist produced during the same year as The Duet showing a comparable subject. In an amicable agreement with the heirs of the Spiro family, the MMFA received compensation for acting in good faith, and in return dedicated the newly acquired painting to the memory of Bruno Spiro and his wife Ellen. The return of the The Duet to the grandchildren of its rightful owners and the acquisition of the new work were celebrated in a festive public ceremony.

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) provides a list of case summaries on its website that describe out-of-court settlements between museums and claimants of Nazi-looted art (IFAR, World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss, Case Summaries: Non-litigated/Out-of-Court Settlements).

More case studies can be found on the website of lootedart.com.

Related bibliography

Campfen, Evelien. ed. Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-Looted Art Disputes: Status Quo and New Developments, 2014.

Tythacott, Louise and Kostas Arvanitis. eds. Museums and Restitution: New Practices, New Approaches. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

Murphy, Nathan. “Splitting Images: Shared-Value Settlements in Nazi-Era Art Restitution Claims.” Florida Law Entertainment Review, 2009.

Range, Daniel. “Deaccessioning and Its Costs in the Holocaust Art Context: The United States and Great Britain.” Texas International Law Journal, vol. 39, p. 655, 2004.

3.6 Future options: Aspiring to unbroken ownership histories

Works of art have been subject to war looting throughout history from antiquity to the present, precisely because they are objects of beauty that possess significant cultural and often monetary value. Unfortunately, this is not likely to change anytime in the future.

Every researcher immersed in the process of reconstructing a work of art’s ownership history – the painstaking work of piecing together bits of information gathered from the object itself, from books, journals, newspapers, online databases, institutional and public archives, and personal correspondence – will ask themselves if this laborious, time-consuming puzzle couldn’t have been avoided in the first place. Gaps in provenance occur because of negligent record keeping, the wish for privacy by certain owners, and sometimes criminal intent. Labels, stamps, and inscriptions on the object that provide evidence of ownership can easily be removed. Receipts or certificates that authenticate the work or serve as evidence for a transaction between different owners can be destroyed, stolen, forged, or simply lost. Today new technologies are being developed that can securely link objects with their chain of owners, thereby holding the potential to make provenance research a thing of the past.

Companies like Ascribe, Verisart, Monegraph, Deloitte and Everledger are using blockchain technology to record works of art and their respective owners. The blockchain is a decentralised network available to everyone that consists of digitally recorded and time-stamped data blocks, where each added block is unchangeable and cryptographically linked to the previous block. Originally developed as a public ledger for verifying and tracking transactions of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, the blockchain can be applied to various uses, including securely recording provenance data for artworks. Once a work of art’s basic information, authorship, and ownership records are uploaded to the blockchain, this information is embedded in a digital file and can never be removed or changed. This makes the blockchain extremely useful for intellectual property registration for physical artworks such as paintings, sculpture, installations, works on paper, art editions, as well as digital art, which has been especially vulnerable to piracy in the past.

DNA fingerprinting is another new technology with the potential to create sound provenances for works of art in the future. The companies Tagsmart and Provenire Authentication have both developed labeling systems for works of art using synthetic DNA. Almost invisible tags that meet archival standards and are impossible to remove from the artwork without leaving traces of DNA, can be applied by the artist to the object right after its creation, certifying his or her authorship. Tagsmart links the forensically verifiable tags by encryption to a cloud-based database that records information about artist, work, and ownership, and can be updated whenever the object changes hands. Aside from this “digital passport”, a certificate of authenticity on paper is issued that is linked directly to the tag and digital database.

Both blockchain technology and synthetic DNA labeling are art authentication methods that are particularly useful for the primary art market. They can serve as tools for artists who are looking for ways to securely claim authorship for each piece they create. Used smartly and consistently, they have the potential to establish reliable ownership histories for the future, bringing more transparency to an opaque and still largely unregulated art market.

3.7 Resources

3.7.1 Websites

Arthistoricum.net
Internet portal for art historical research.
Art Loss Register
Database for stolen art; provides provenance research services for a fee.
Fold3 The Holocaust Collection
Database for Holocaust related information, including looted art.
The Getty Research Institute
Lootedart.com
The website of UK-based “The Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945” is an indispensable resource for every provenance researcher. The website lists databases, lawsuits, claimant information, the latest news, events and conferences, and provides looted art related information by country.
Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal
Registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1933-1945), containing 29,584 objects from 176 participating museums.
MNR, Site Rose-Valland
Database for works of art that are now in the state custody of France, and whose original owners are unknown.
Origins Unknown
Database for unclaimed works of art that are now in the state custody of The Netherlands, and whose are unknown.
Schloss Collection Database
Database that lists the contents of the art collection of Adolphe Schloss, which consisted of 333 mainly Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings, and was looted in 1943 by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR). There are 171 paintings from the collection that have never been restituted to the Schloss heirs and are still missing.

3.7.2 Image databases and collections

RKD Images
Database with descriptions, images, and provenance information of mainly Dutch paintings, drawings, prints, and original photos that date to before WWII. Available online.
Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur
Contains two million images of European works of art and architecture. Available online.
Witt Library Photographic Collection
Collection of reproductions after paintings, drawings and prints of western art, covering the period 1200 to the present day. Original photographs and cuttings from published material are organised alphabetically by artist within “national schools”. Available on microform at the National Gallery of Canada library [1978 and update 1981-91].

Getty Research Institute photo study collection, Los Angeles

Frick Art Reference Library, New York

National Gallery of Art photo collection, Washington DC

Musée du Louvre documentation centre, Paris

Musée d’Orsay documentation centre, Paris

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte photo archive, Munich

3.7.3 Selected archives

Austria
Bundesdenkmalamt
The archive of the Austrian Federal Monuments Office holds restitution and export records of artworks looted during WWII.
France
Archives de France
French State Archives contain records related to art looting and restitution in France as well as records of many prominent French art dealers.
Archives diplomatiques
Holds records of WWII art looting and restitution in France.
Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA)
 
Germany
German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv)
German State Archives hold records related to the activities of the ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) in France, Belgium, and the Baltic States, as well as records of postwar restitution.
Landesarchiv, Berlin
The Berlin State Archives holds several archival collections that are of significance for provenance research.

German Lost Art Foundation

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich

Art historical research institute of Germany.

The Netherlands
Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie
The RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History maintains an extensive online image database and holds records of important dealers, scholars, and collectors.
U.K.
National Archives
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government.
USA
National Archives
The Holocaust-Era Assets web pages of the National Archives, Washington, DC, hold key records related to the looting, locating, recovering, and restituting of Holocaust-era assets.
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
The YIVO archives holds extensive collections related to Jewish history and culture around the world.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum holds extensive research resources, many available online.

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Schwarz, Birgit. Hitler’s Museum: Die Fotoalben Gemäldegalerie Linz. Vienna: Böhlau Verlag Ges.m.b.h. und Co. KG, 2004.

Simon, Matila. Battle of the Louvre: the Struggle to Save French Art in World War II. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1971.

Simpson, Elizabeth et al. Spoils of War – World War II and Its Aftermath: the Loss, Reappearance, and Recovery of Cultural Property. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, 1997.

Siviero, Rodolfo. Second National Exhibition of the Works of Art Recovered in Germany. Florence, 1950.

Siviero, Rodolfo. L’Arte e il Nazismo presentazione di Silvio Bertoldi. Cantini Edizioni d’Arte SpA, 1984.

Siviero, Rodolfo. Recovered Works of Art: Dedicated to Rodolfo Siviero. Cantini Edizioni d’Arte, 1984.

Skilton Jr., John D. Defense de l’Art Européen: souvenirs d’un officier americain specialiste des monuments. Paris: Les Editions Internationales, 1948.

Smyth, Craig Hugh. Repatriation of Art from the Collecting Point in Munich after World War II. Maarssen / The Hague: Gary Schwartz / SDU Publishers, 1988.

Tatzkow, Monika and Gunanr Schnabel. Nazi Looted Art: Handbuch Kunstrestitution weltweit. Berlin: Proprietas-verlag, 2007.

Treue, Wilhelm. Art Plunder. Methuen & Co Ltd., 1960.

Trienens, Howard J. Landscape with Smokestacks: The Case of the Allegedly Plundered Degas. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2000.

United States. Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. Plunder and Restitution: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims’ Assets, Findings and Recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and Staff Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.

Vagheggi, Paolo. “Capolavori d’arte prigionieri di guerre,” La Repulica: culture & scienze (February 21), 1998.

Valland, Rose. Le Front de L’Art : Défense des collections françaises, 1939-1945. Paris: Librairie Plon, 1961.

Varshavsky, Sergei and Boris Rest. The Ordeal of the Hermitage: The Siege of Leningrad 1941-1944. New York: Aurora Art Publishers – Leningrad: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1985.

Venema, Adriaan. Kunsthandel in Nederland 1940-1945. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers, 1986. 

Verhoeyen, Etienne. België bezet 1940-1944. Brussels, 1993.

Vitaly Aksionov. Fuhrer’s Favorite Museum: Stolen Treasures. St. Petersburg: Neva Publishing House, 2003.

Vlug, Jean. Report on Objects Removed from Germany from Holland, Belgium, and France during the German Occupation of the Countries. Amsterdam: Report of Stichting Nederlands Kunstbesit, 1945.

Vries, Willem de. Sonderstab Musik. Amsterdam: University Press, 1996.

Walker, John. “Europe’s Looted Art,” National Geographic 89 (January 1946): 39-52.

Weber, Annette. ed. in collaboration with Jihan Radjai-Ordoubadi. Jüdische Sammler und ihr Beitrag zur Kultur der Moderne [Jewish Collectors and their Contribution to Modern Culture]. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011.

Wechsler, Helen. Museum Policy and Procedure for Nazi-Era Issues. Resource Report. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 2001.

Wildenstein, Georges. “Works of Art: Weapons of War,” La République française (December 1943).

Williams, Robert Chadwell. Russian Art and American Money, 1900-1940. Cambridge, 1980.

Wilson, David. “Return and Restitution: A Museum Perspective,” in Who Owns the Past? Pp. 99-106. Oxford, 1985.

Wolfe, Robert. ed. Captured German and Related Records: A National Archives Conference. Ohio University Press, 1974.

Woolley, Lt.-Col. Sir Leonard. Record of the Work Done by the Military Authorities for the Protection of the Treasures of Art and History in War Areas. London: H. M. Stationary Office, 1947.

Yeide, Nancy H. Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection. Dallas, TX: Laurel Publishing, 2008.

Yeide, Nancy H., Konstantin Akinsha and Amy L. Walsh. The AAM Guide to Provenance Research. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 2001.

For more publications on Holocaust-looted art, consult Research Resources: Books & Publications on http://lootedart.com.

Appendices

Appendix A: Washington Conference Principles On Nazi-Confiscated Art, published in connection with the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, Washington, DC, December 3, 1998

In developing a consensus on non-binding principles to assist in resolving issues relating to Nazi-confiscated art, the Conference recognizes that among participating nations there are differing legal systems and that countries act within the context of their own laws.

  1. Art that had been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted should be identified.
  2. Relevant records and archives should be open and accessible to researchers, in accordance with the guidelines of the International Conference on Archives.
  3. Resources and personnel should be made available to facilitate the identification of all art that had been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted.
  4. In establishing that a work of art had been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted, consideration should be made for unavoidable gaps or ambiguities in the provenance in light of the passage of time and the circumstances of the Holocaust era.
  5. Every effort should be made to publicize art that is found to have been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted in order to locate its pre-War owners or their heirs.
  6. Efforts should be made to establish a central registry of such information.
  7. Pre-War owners and their heirs should be encouraged to come forward and make known their claims to art that was confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted.
  8. If the pre-War owners of art that is found have been confiscated by the Nazis and not subsequently restituted, or their heirs, can be identified, steps should be taken expeditiously to achieve a just and fair solution, recognizing this may vary according to the facts and circumstances surrounding a specific case.
  9. If the pre-War owners of art that is found to have been confiscated by the Nazis, or their heirs, cannot be identified, steps should be taken expeditiously to achieve a just and fair solution.
  10. Commissions or other bodies established to identify art that was confiscated by the Nazis and to assist in addressing ownership issues should have a balanced membership.
  11. Nations are encouraged to develop national processes to implement these principles, particularly as they relate to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for resolving ownership issues.

Appendix B: Report of the AAMD Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933-1945), June 4, 1998

AAMD Statement of Purpose: “The purpose of the AAMD is to aid its members in establishing and maintaining the highest professional standards for themselves and the museums they represent, thereby exerting leadership in increasing the contribution of art museums to society.”

I. Statement of Principles

  1. AAMD recognizes and deplores the unlawful confiscation of art that constituted one of the many horrors of the Holocaust and World War II.
  2. American museums are proud of the role they, and members of their staffs, played during and after World War II, assisting with the preservation and restitution of hundreds of thousands of works of art through the U.S. Military’s Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section.
  3. AAMD reaffirms the commitment of its members to weigh, promptly and thoroughly, claims of title to specific works in their collections.
  4. AAMD urges the prompt creation of mechanisms to coordinate full access to all documentation concerning this spoliation of art, especially newly available information. To this end, the AAMD encourages the creation of databases by third parties, essential to research in this area, which will aid in the identification of any works of art which were unlawfully confiscated and which of these were restituted. Such an effort will complement long-standing American museum policy of exhibiting, publishing and researching works of art in museum collections in order to make them widely available to scholars and to the general public. (See III. below.)
  5. AAMD endorses a process of reviewing, reporting, and researching the issue of unlawfully confiscated art which respects the dignity of all parties and the complexity of the issue. Each claim presents a unique situation which must be thoroughly reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

II. Guidelines
AAMD has developed the following guidelines to assist museums in resolving claims, reconciling the interests of individuals who were dispossessed of works of art or their heirs together with the fiduciary and legal obligations and responsibilities of art museums and their trustees to the public for whom they hold works of art in trust.

  1. Research Regarding Existing Collections
    1. As part of the standard research on each work of art in their collections, members of the AAMD, if they have not already done so, should begin immediately to review the provenance of works in their collections to attempt to ascertain whether any were unlawfully confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era and never restituted.
    2. Member museums should search their own records thoroughly and, in addition, should take all reasonable steps to contact established archives, databases, art dealers, auction houses, donors, art historians and other scholars and researchers who may be able to provide Nazi/World-War-II-era provenance information.
    3. AAMD recognizes that research regarding Nazi/World-War-II-era provenance may take years to complete, may be inconclusive and may require additional funding. The AAMD Art Issues Committee will address the matter of such research and how to facilitate it.
  2. Future Gifts, Bequests, and Purchases
    1. As part of the standard research on each work of art:
      1. member museums should ask donors of works of art (or executors in the case of bequests) to provide as much provenance information as possible with regard to the Nazi/World War II era and
      2. member museums should ask sellers of works of art to provide as much provenance information as possible with regard to the Nazi/World War II era.
    2. Where the Nazi/World-War-II-era provenance is incomplete for a gift, bequest, or purchase, the museum should search available records and consult appropriate databases of unlawfully confiscated art (see III below).
      1. In the absence of evidence of unlawful confiscation, the work is presumed not to have been confiscated and the acquisition may proceed.
      2. If there is evidence of unlawful confiscation, and there is no evidence of restitution, the museum should not proceed to acquire the object and should take appropriate further action.
    3. Consistent with current museum practice, member museums should publish, display or otherwise make accessible all recent gifts, bequests, and purchases thereby making them available for further research, examination and study.
    4. When purchasing works of art, museums should seek representations and warranties from the seller that the seller has valid title and that the work of art is free from any claims.
  3. Access to Museum Records
    1. Member museums should facilitate access to the Nazi/World-War-II-era provenance information of all works of art in their collections.
    2. Although a linked database of all museum holdings throughout the United States does not exist at this time, individual museums are establishing web sites with collections information and others are making their holdings accessible through printed publications or archives. AAMD is exploring the linkage of existing sites which contain collection information so as to assist research.
  4. Discovery of Unlawfully Confiscated Works of Art
    1. If a member museum should determine that a work of art in its collection was illegally confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era and not restituted, the museum should make such information public.
    2. In the event that a legitimate claimant comes forward, the museum should offer to resolve the matter in an equitable, appropriate, and mutually agreeable manner.
    3. In the event that no legitimate claimant comes forward, the museum should acknowledge the history of the work of art on labels and publications referring to such a work.
  5. Response to Claims Against the Museum
    1. If a member museum receives a claim against a work of art in its collection related to an illegal confiscation during the Nazi/World War II era, it should seek to review such a claim promptly and thoroughly. The museum should request evidence of ownership from the claimant in order to assist in determining the provenance of the work of art.
    2. If after working with the claimant to determine the provenance, a member museum should determine that a work of art in its collection was illegally confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era and not restituted, the museum should offer to resolve the matter in an equitable, appropriate, and mutually agreeable manner.
    3. AAMD recommends that member museums consider using mediation wherever reasonably practical to help resolve claims regarding art illegally confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era and not restituted.
  6. Incoming Loans
    1. In preparing for exhibitions, member museums should endeavor to review provenance information regarding incoming loans.
    2. Member museums should not borrow works of art known to have been illegally confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era and not restituted unless the matter has been otherwise resolved (e.g., II.D.3 above).

III. Database Recommendations

  1. As stated in I.D. (above), AAMD encourages the creation of databases by third parties, essential to research in this area. AAMD recommends that the databases being formed include the following information (not necessarily all in a single database):
    1. claims and claimants
    2. works of art illegally confiscated during the Nazi/World War II era
    3. works of art later restituted
  2. AAMD suggests that the entity or entities creating databases establish professional advisory boards that could provide insight on the needs of various users of the database. AAMD encourages member museums to participate in the work of such boards.

Appendix C: Vilnius Forum Declaration, October 5, 2000

Declaration

The Vilnius Forum,

Recognizing the massive and unprecedented looting and confiscations of art and other cultural property owned by Jewish individuals, communities and others, and the need to reach just and fair solutions to the return of such art and cultural property,

Referring to Resolution 1205 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art,

Noting in particular their emphasis on reaching just and fair solutions to issues involving restitution of cultural assets looted during the Holocaust era and the fact that such solutions may vary according to the differing legal systems among countries and the circumstances surrounding a specific case,

Makes the following declaration:

  1. The Vilnius Forum asks all governments to undertake every reasonable effort to achieve the restitution of cultural assets looted during the Holocaust era to the original owners or their heirs. To this end, it encourages all participating States to take all reasonable measures to implement the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art as well as Resolution 1205 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
  2. In order to achieve this, the Vilnius Forum asks governments, museums, the art trade and other relevant agencies to provide all information necessary to such restitution. This will include the identification of looted assets; the identification and provision of access to archives, public and commercial; and the provision of all data on claims from the Holocaust era until today. Governments and other bodies as mentioned above are asked to make such information available on publicly accessible websites and further to co-operate in establishing hyperlinks to a centralized website in association with the Council of Europe. The Forum further encourages governments, museums, the art trade and other relevant agencies to co-operate and share information to ensure that archives remain open and accessible and operate in as transparent a manner as possible.
  3. In order further to facilitate the just and fair resolution of the above mentioned issues, the Vilnius Forum asks each government to maintain or establish a central reference and point of inquiry to provide information and help on any query regarding looted cultural assets, archives and claims in each country.
  4. Recognizing the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jewish people, including the effort to eradicate the Jewish cultural heritage, the Vilnius Forum recognizes the urgent need to work on ways to achieve a just and fair solution to the issue of Nazi-looted art and cultural property where owners, or heirs of former Jewish owners, individuals or legal persons, cannot be identified; recognizes that there is no universal model for this issue; and recognizes the previous Jewish ownership of such cultural assets.
  5. The Vilnius Forum proposes to governments that periodical international expert meetings are held to exchange views and experiences on the implementation of the Washington Principles, the Resolution 1205 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Vilnius Declaration. These meetings should also serve to address outstanding issues and problems and develop, for governments to consider, possible remedies within the framework of existing national and international structures and instruments.
  6. The Vilnius Forum welcomes the progress being made by countries to take the measures necessary, within the context of their own laws, to assist in the identification and restitution of cultural assets looted during the Holocaust era and the resolution of outstanding issues.

Appendix D: Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-Era Cultural Property, November 14-16, 2001

Canadian Museums Association and Canadian Jewish Congress

A Matter of Justice: Recommendations of the Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-era Cultural Property, Ottawa, ON, November 14-16, 2001

Introduction

The following observations and recommendations arise from the Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-era Cultural Property, held at the National Gallery of Canada from 14-16 November 2001.

The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) organized the symposium jointly with major support from the National Gallery of Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO), the Gelmont Foundation, Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

The aim was to explore the complex historical, research, legal and moral issues and challenges posed by the potential presence of Nazi-spoliated works of art and other cultural property in Canadian public collections; and to develop recommendations toward a national strategy to address these issues with the diligence and professionalism they demand.

Some 80 invited speakers and delegates attended from Canada, the United States and Europe. They represented a cross-section of interests from museums to art dealers, libraries, archives and concerned federal departments and agencies.

Panels were organized around four key issues:

The panels were followed by two discussion groups charged with bringing forward recommendations concerning three questions:

The discussion groups independently developed very similar recommendations indicating a strong consensus as outlined below.

Background

The enormity of the Nazi looting of art is unprecedented in history and momentum is growing throughout the world to resolve this long-standing issue. Museums, including galleries, archives and others housing objects with gaps in their provenance traced to the Nazi era, are on the front line in this effort and Canada is no exception.

There is a growing sense of urgency to resolve the issue as the original victims, and even their descendants and heirs, succumb to the passage of time. As most of the victims perished in the concentration camps, there are untold thousands of looted works outstanding with no apparent heir and little likelihood of finding one. As the surviving victims fail and pass on with greater frequency, they and their descendants are naturally feeling the pressure to seek closure to a long-standing and painful experience.

As this pressure grows in intensity, governments and cultural institutions around the world are increasing their efforts to identify spoliated works and effect restitution on behalf of the victims. A myriad of on-line archival registries and document research centres has sprung up in Europe and North America focused on the provenance of spoliated holocaust-era assets. In fact, as the amount of information available to victims and researchers grows exponentially, this in itself is fuelling expectations and increasing the pressure of institutions to respond in kind.

In this setting, two pivotal international conferences on the treatment of spoliated Holocaust-era assets—one in Washington, DC (1998), and the second in Vilnius, Lithuania (2000)—produced groundbreaking declarations urging concrete action on this front by participating governments and cultural institutions. Canada was represented at both gatherings and has endorsed the recommendations.

Canada has not been idle in responding to the call for action. In 1999, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO), including the Directors of some of Canada’s most prestigious art museums, adopted guidelines patterned closely after those issued by the American Association of Art Directors (AAMD), for dealing with the problem. As well, a number of institutions have worked for some time to research their collections and publish works on the Internet with gaps in their provenance during the Nazi era.

Recent events indicate, however, that the pace of progress is uneven throughout Canada and that opinions vary on the ways and means of achieving progress. Following consultations with the Department of Canadian Heritage and a sizable cross-section of museum executives, the CMA and CJC agreed that a symposium of key stakeholders would be timely and essential to provide a suitable focus on the issue and establish a firm basis for concrete action.

Discussion

What should be the main elements of a Canadian strategy on Holocaust-era Cultural Property?

Key principles

There are key principles that should govern Canada’s treatment of Holocaust-era cultural property:

A moral issue

The systematic plunder of cultural treasures during the Nazi regime has robbed many thousands of innocent victims and their descendants of their cultural identity, dignity and security. The price is still being paid by the victims’ families who must often contend with a long, complicated and emotionally painful journey when trying to find and redeem their lost objects.

Recognizing the varied and complex legal requirements bearing upon the treatment of Holocaust-era cultural property, this is also a fundamental moral issue that speaks directly to Canada’s stature as a proponent of social justice and diversity. It is also an urgent issue calling for immediate action by all parties concerned.

Every museum in Canada has a moral obligation to check its collection for possibly tainted works from the 1933-45 era. Where there are gaps in the provenance of such objects, museums have the responsibility to declare this publicly and pursue restitution in accordance with recommendations in this report and guidelines issued by professional associations.

A made-in-Canada solution

However Canada may respond to the issue, any strategy must conform to our particular and unique geopolitical circumstances. There are several factors:

  1. Canada is a federal state in which power to deal with the issues concerning cultural property is shared between the federal and provincial governments;
  2. The Canadian museum community is comparatively small in relation to other affected countries, such as the United States. It is also dispersed across vast distances making communication and coordination a costly and difficult exercise; and
  3. Many institutions potentially implicated in the issue are very small, lack the necessary in-house expertise and are struggling with strict budgetary constraints.
A template

While the immediate focus of discussion is on Holocaust-era cultural property, the broad principles engaged apply as well to other circumstances (e.g., First Nations). Canada’s strategy, therefore, should be designed as a template for guidance in dealing with comparable issues in the future. It should be adaptable to changing circumstances and not regarded as a single-purpose and temporary exercise.

An inclusive approach

This is a national issue engaging a broad array of stakeholders. The strategy must incorporate mechanisms to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account. These include:

Consider the claimant

One of the central goals of the strategy must be to ease the task of Holocaust victims and their descendants in locating and recovering their lost property. Our strategy must engage potential claimants through outreach initiatives and other means to encourage and facilitate the search for information. Furthermore, the planning and decision process must be open and transparent to the public.

Beyond art

While the focus of discussion is on spoliated art, Canada’s strategy must consider other forms of cultural property that may be tainted, including documents and other kinds of moveable property such as furnishings and historic artefacts.

Negotiate—don’t litigate

Institutions should avoid litigation to the extent possible. An adversarial approach to resolving claims is not only costly to the institution in both time and resources; it is also emotionally and financially draining for claimants who are often of modest means and elderly.

There are options available for the resolution of claims that can achieve satisfaction for both parties. Our basic stance should be to seek alternative solutions to civil recourse whenever possible. To this end, Canada requires a current and nationally accessible repository of information on the resolution of claims, based upon case studies at home and abroad.

Treating “orphaned” cultural property

As most of the victims perished in the concentration camps, there are untold thousands of looted works outstanding with no traceable heir and little likelihood of finding one. Despite their best efforts at tracing provenance, therefore, institutions may well find such works of spoliated art in their collections.

In such cases, museums, galleries, libraries and other institutions should, as a minimum, display commemorative messages along with exhibits of the works. Similar notes should accompany inventory lists of works whether on display or not. Institutions should also consider options that could include, for example, donation to Jewish community institutions or an appropriate Holocaust memorial fund.

First step—define the problem

The first major step in developing Canada’s strategy must be to define the scope of the problem, in terms of institutions and collections potentially affected. It stands to reason that not all institutions will include suspect works. On the other side, it is important to sound planning that we develop an estimate of the number and location of institutions and collections falling within the search criteria. Furthermore, it is important to assign levels of priority for allocating resources to the problem based upon the areas within collections at greatest risk.

Recommendation: That a national assessment be made of cultural collections with the aim of identifying collections in Canada at risk of including spoliated Holocaust-era cultural property.

Common standards

It is important that institutions adopt a consistent approach to the resolution of matters related to Holocaust-era cultural property. There is a strong consensus that Canadian institutions must move forward based on common standards governing the treatment of possible tainted cultural property. Such standards would apply to the identification of works with incomplete provenance for the period 1933-45, through initial screening and provenance research, to the investigation of claims, access by claimants and the public to related information, cooperation with external researchers and other institutions and the management of restitution cases.

Such standards must also recognize the diverse operational and legal regimes in which institutions work across Canada and should, therefore, take the form of “best practices.” Moreover, they must be subject to continuing review in light of changes in methodology, policy and law and the continuing international emergence research data.

Apart from guidelines developed by the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO) some three years ago, and the Ethical Guidelines developed by the CMA, there is no common policy or standard governing the acquisition of works, the conduct of provenance research or the restitution of Holocaust-era cultural property.

Recommendation: That the CMA and provincial museum associations jointly develop common standards, in the form of “best practices”, for application throughout Canada concerning the identification and treatment of potentially spoliated cultural property; and that such best practices be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Education and awareness

Canada’s success in resolving the issue of Holocaust-era cultural property rests largely upon our ability to enlist cooperation and continuing interest by the Canadian public, institutional stakeholders and the media. Delegates are concerned about an apparent lack of awareness and understanding among all three constituencies of the nature of the issue; its importance to the integrity of the Canadian cultural community and our international standing; the various and complex challenges involved; and the important work being done.

Central to Canada’s strategy for dealing with the issue, therefore, must be an assertive and continuing information and awareness program aimed at informing and guiding the institutions, the public and the media. That effort, moreover, should provide opportunities for the target audiences to engage directly in the discussion and resolution of key issues.

This would require extensive coordination in the design, development and delivery of particular information products and services. It would also entail the serious commitment of communications resources through outreach strategies aimed at directly engaging the audience.

Recommendation: That a national communications strategy be implemented focussed upon stakeholder institutions, professional and volunteer staff, the public and the media, for the purpose of enlisting their support through increased awareness, understanding and acceptance of Canada’s obligations concerning Holocaust-era cultural property, the nature of the challenges and related issues.

International cooperation

This issue has an international political dimension directly engaging the Government of Canada. Canada’s stature as a proponent of global cultural enrichment dictates not only that we take up our domestic responsibility, but that we also assert ourselves in the continuing international effort to resolve the spoliation issue.

One of the practical and important ways of assuming leadership would be for the Government of Canada to join the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 1995) That convention enjoins the Contracting States to “contribute effectively to the fight against illicit trade in cultural objects by…establishing common, minimal legal rules for the restitution and return of cultural objects between Contracting States, with the objective of improving the preservation and protection of the cultural heritage in the interest of all.”

Federal officials contend that the Convention is not retroactive and could not, therefore, address the issue of Holocaust assets. Furthermore, officials point to the need for agreement of the provinces within whose legal jurisdiction much of the cultural property would fall.

Delegates recognize both challenges. They are not persuaded, however, that this is sufficient cause for Canada to defer action on UNIDROIT. Indeed, despite the limitation in the Convention’s scope, signing on would represent a visible and important commitment by Canada to the growing international movement to curb crimes against cultural property. It would also represent a much-needed baseline for future action in similar circumstances.

Furthermore, while cultural property might arguably fall within the civil jurisdiction from a litigation perspective, there may be policy options available that would satisfy the provinces while enabling Canada to sign on (e.g., qualifying declarations). Delegates consider it timely and important that Canada open formal consultations with the provinces on the subject.

Recommendation: That the Canadian Museums Association, as the voice of the museum community on national issues, petition the Minister of Canadian Heritage to open formal consultations with the provinces on the goal of Canada’s accession to the UNIDROIT Convention.

How should Canada be organized to swiftly and effectively implement that strategy?

Operational decisions regarding the investigation and treatment of potentially tainted assets fall within the separate responsibility of the concerned institutions, in accordance with their respective governance structures. Nevertheless, delegates agree upon the need for a central body to guide the implementation of key measures.

The precise form of such a body has yet to be determined; however, it could take the lines of a national council of stakeholders with secretariat support provided on a cost-sharing basis. Its general functions would include:

Recommendation: That a national body of stakeholders be established to guide, monitor and report upon the implementation of Canada’s strategy for the identification and restitution of spoliated cultural assets.

What are the main operational requirements of institutions in implementing the strategy?

Access to information and expertise

Researchers are confronted by a vast and growing array of research focused on Holocaust-era cultural property. A myriad of Internet-based and published resources, operating in loose association or independently is an impediment to the effective and efficient investigation and resolution of potential restitution cases.

Furthermore, while there is an abundance of expert resources to assist researchers, the bulk of institutions lack resident resources having the necessary expertise to assist in managing the issue.

Delegates expressed concern that potential claimants are equally challenged in their search for information by the absence of a coherent research capability. While some institutions have moved to exhibit works of uncertain provenance on their Web sites, this is not considered sufficient in itself to maximize the prospective claimants’ access to information. At any event, the present capability is confined to only a handful of Canadian institutions.

Delegates agree that Canada has a great opportunity to bring some order to the researchers’ task, by establishing a central point of access (a portal) that would facilitate Canadian and foreign institutions, as well as potential claimants, in their investigations, expedite the resolution of claims and contain associated costs.

Such a portal should contain more than links to the concerned database resources. It would also contain relevant documentation (e.g., Canadian and international law and policy, studies of instructive cases); reference to Canadian and foreign sources of expertise; practical guidance on the various steps involved; and a forum for information sharing among stakeholders. Delegates further agree that the portal should have a public access component enabling claimants and independent researchers to gather information relevant to their concerns.

Recommendation: That a national, on-line research and information service be established that would make accessible current and relevant information and documentation, links to resources and guidance to institutions and the public in relation to Holocaust-era cultural property issues.

Funding for research, restitution and related training

Provenance research and the resolution of claims against suspected spoliated works impose a major operational burden upon institutions, especially smaller institutions struggling at the best of times to operate within severe budget constraints. There are several factors:

Recommendation: That the Department of Canadian Heritage establish a program to enhance institutions’ capacity to resolve provenance and restitution issues, including direct financial support and expert consultation resources.

Summary of recommendations

  1. Canada requires a national strategy for resolving the issue of Holocaust-era cultural property. That strategy should be based upon the following principles:
    • Recognizing the varied and complex legal requirements bearing upon the treatment of Holocaust-era cultural property, this is also a fundamental moral issue that speaks directly to Canada’s stature as a proponent of social justice and diversity. It is also an urgent issue calling for immediate action by all parties concerned. 
    • Every museum in Canada has a moral obligation to check its collection for possibly tainted works from the 1933-45 era. Where there are gaps in the provenance of such objects, museums have the responsibility to declare this publicly and pursue restitution in accordance with recommendations in this report and guidelines issued by professional associations. 
    • However Canada may respond to the issue, any strategy must conform to our particular and unique geo-political circumstances.
    • Museums, galleries, libraries and other institutions should, as a minimum, display commemorative messages along with exhibits of works with no traceable owner or heir. Similar notes should accompany inventory lists of works whether on display or not. Institutions should also consider options that could include, for example, donation to Jewish community institutions or appropriate Holocaust memorial fund. 
    • Canada’s strategy should be designed as a template for guidance in dealing with comparable issues in the future. 
    • The strategy must incorporate mechanisms to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account. 
    • The strategy must seek to engage potential claimants directly through outreach initiatives and other means to encourage and facilitate the search for information. Furthermore, the planning and decision process must be open and transparent to the public. 
    • While the focus of discussion is on spoliated art, Canada’s strategy must consider other forms of cultural property including documents and other moveable property such as furnishings and historic artefacts. 
    • There are options available for the resolution of claims that can achieve satisfaction for both parties. Our basic stance, therefore, is to seek alternative solutions to civil recourse whenever possible. To this end, Canada requires a current and nationally accessible repository of information on the resolution of claims, based upon case studies at home and abroad. 
  2. That a national assessment be made of cultural collections with the aim of identifying collections in Canada at risk of including spoliated Holocaust-era cultural property. 
  3. That the CMA, with provincial museum associations, develop common standards in the form of “best practices”, for application throughout Canada concerning the identification and treatment of spoliated cultural property; and that such best practices be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. 
  4. That the CMA, CAMDO and the Department of Canadian Heritage jointly develop a national communications strategy focused upon institutions, professional and volunteer staff, the public and the media, for the purpose of enlisting their support through increased awareness, understanding and acceptance of Canada’s obligations concerning Holocaust-era cultural property, the nature of the challenges and related issues. 
  5. That the Minister of Canadian Heritage open formal consultations with the provinces on the question of Canada’s accession to the UNIDROIT Convention. 
  6. That a national council of stakeholders be established to guide, monitor and report upon the implementation of Canada’s strategy for the identification and restitution of spoliated Holocaust-era cultural assets. 
  7. That the CMA and the Department of Canadian Heritage jointly establish a national, on-line research and information service (i.e., a “clearing house”), that would make accessible current and relevant information and documentation, links to resources and guidance to institutions and the public in relation to Holocaust-era cultural property issues. 
  8. That the Department of Canadian Heritage establishes a program to enhance institutions’ capacity to resolve provenance and restitution issues, including direct financial support and expert consultation resources.

Appendix E: Report on Provenance Research Needs for Holocaust-Era Cultural Property in Canadian Art Museums, February 5, 2008

Submitted to the Department of Canadian Heritage, November 30, 2007 (revised February 5, 2008). Conducted by the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization under contract to the Department of Canadian Heritage in consultation with the Canadian Museums Association and the National Gallery of Canada.

Executive Summary

Objective

The objective of this needs assessment was to determine the scope of provenance research on Holocaust-era cultural property in Canadian art museums for the Canadian heritage community, as represented by the CAMDO members, in order to inform policy development domestically and internationally.

The 2001 Canadian Symposium on Holocaust-era cultural property identified a growing sense of urgency among Canadian museums to conduct provenance research on Holocaust-era cultural property in their collections. The complex historical, research, legal and moral issues were considered in light of the possibility that spoliated works may exist in Canadian public collections.

Five years later, several organizations including the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, the Canadian Museums Association, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany met to assess progress on Holocaust-era provenance research in Canada. At this meeting, parties agreed that there was not enough information available about the scope of the issue in Canada, impeding efforts by all stakeholders to develop strategies and assess resource requirements to grapple with this challenge. The purpose of this study is to assess the scope of this issue for Canadian art museums in order to inform future decision-making and strategies by all stake-holders.

The survey

The survey was sent to all of the institutions represented by the CAMDO membership (84 institutions) on July 23, 2007. Although the survey only yielded twelve completed surveys, many institutions replied to the request indicating that the issue is not relevant to their collection. There may be a handful of additional institutions with works that may require provenance research.

Number of works in question

The total number of works under consideration is relatively small: 822; however, only 378 of these are paintings and sculpture. The lack of documentation on drawings, prints and graphic arts severely impedes conclusive research, therefore these could arguably be deemed a lower priority, in the context of limited resources.

Online databases

Almost all institutions have 95-100% of their collection entered into an electronic database. All of the institutions either have a provenance field or have the capability to add one. In about half of the cases, the database is accessible online in a limited capacity. In other institutions the database is for internal use only and made accessible to researchers in special cases. Only one institution indicated that its collection is entirely available on Artefacts Canada.[1]

Resources and expertise

Half of the institutions have some expertise in-house on provenance research, however, only two institutions have employees who are extensively trained and experienced in Holocaust-era cultural property. Incidentally, these are also the only two institutions who feel that they have adequate expertise to complete their research. Half of the institutions have employees who are devoting some of their time to Holocaust-era provenance research, however, this is primarily focused on provenance of potential acquisitions.

The required resources that have been identified by the respondents are fourfold:

  1. Financial
  2. Legal: “We do not have ready access to legal resources.”
  3. Travel (primarily international, to libraries, registries and archives): “As a university art gallery, we have more access than most to library and archival sources, but these are still far from adequate for the specialized work required....Most importantly, the documents required are overwhelmingly outside Canada and accessible only with funding for extensive travel and time to do the work.”
  4. Trained experts: “It takes expertise at a senior curatorial level. It is the most advanced and complex type of research. Some can be done by interns but ultimately requires specialized expertise including external consultants, lawyers, etc.” 

Training

The respondents identified the following methods for training adequate researchers in Holocaust-era provenance research:

  1. Internships and mentorships with experienced researchers
  2. Language training (esp. German, French)
  3. Workshops: “Correspondence with other researchers is invaluable. Holocaust-era provenance research skills can be developed by the act of doing provided that sufficient time is allotted to the task, and provided that colleagues involved in similar projects are available for advice and guidance.”
  4. Art historical training (at least graduate level): “Provenance research is best pursued with a background in art history, experience in archival research, and knowledge of the requisite languages.”
  5. Archival research training (Library Sciences)
  6. Online forum to share expertise and information: “The best means would be to work directly with an expert but there should be a way to provide this information at a distance and perhaps online.” 

Budgets

None of the institutions have a dedicated provenance research budget due to restrained resources. Incidentally, none of the institutions can accurately estimate their expenditure on research in 2006-07.

Claims

Only three institutions have had claims made against works in their collections. Only one work has been restituted from among the twelve responding institutions.

Recommendations

Based on the observations of this survey, CAMDO submits the following recommendations to the community of stakeholders:

  1. Financial resources are critical to achieving any progress at all in provenance research. To acknowledge the financial aspect we make the following recommendations:
    • That Executive Directors and Boards of Directors/Trustees identify such research as a priority and pursue, as much as possible, the allocation of funds in their annual budgets to provenance research projects.
    • Since the number of institutions for whom this is relevant is somewhat small, the Department should prepare a list of institutions who desire to complete a provenance research project. Rather than create a fund to which institutions would apply, the Department should consult with each institution individually to identify their needs and priorities. From this, the Department could allocate funds over a 5- or 10-year period for institutions to hire researchers, train them and pay for travel expenses (e.g. High value European painting and sculpture collections would be researched first; more difficult works such as graphic arts and furniture are a lower-priority due to the lack of documentation.)
    • And that alternative, non-governmental sources of funding be pursued including foundations, sponsorships and other organizations that have a stake in this issue.
  2. A funding program should be developed that enables museums to improve their object files in the area concerned. In many cases, the files are lacking even basic provenance information; the entire provenance has to be worked on before one can zero in on 1933-1945. These institutions also need to be, in many cases, quietly working with their donors to get them on board with the program and the possible outcomes before sharing this information with colleagues at other institutions (i.e. see recommendation below). Issue of donor confidentiality/research needs.
  3. The art museum sector—led by CAMDO and the CMA and in consultation with a number of stakeholders including PCH—must develop nationally-accepted protocols/guidelines for Holocaust-era cultural property provenance research.
  4. Through the CAMDO web-site or CHIN’s Knowledge Exchange, a resource/research centre should be created to disseminate information in this fast-evolving field. Of course, this would require someone qualified in the field, paid to maintain and feed it with information.
  5. The National Gallery of Canada should organize educational workshops on provenance research with the NGC’s experts. PCH should provide some funding for travel assistance for researchers across Canada to attend these workshops in Ottawa.
  6. The stakeholders should organize and fund an educational conference on Holocaust-era research methodologies with international provenance researchers. The presenters and facilitators should be selected from institutions around the world as well as from the Art Loss Registry, the American Nazi-era Provenance Internet Portal, the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) in Washington D.C., the Lost Art Internet Database of the Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste, the First Internet Research Catalogue (Saxony-Anhalt), the U.K. Museums’ Provenance Research, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe (ECLA), and dozens of other relevant groups and agencies (http://icom.museum/spoliation.html). Not only would this conference offer international networking opportunities, but it would also indicate to the rest of the world that Canada is taking this issue seriously.
  7. PCH should enable and facilitate Artefacts Canada to become a central repository for provenance information. Institutions could upload research completed on their collections and access research by other institutions. This database could emulate the American Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal (http://www.nepip.org) which is only accessibly by American institutions.
  8. PCH might consider organizing and funding a flying squad of expert researchers to assist galleries with planning and beginning their provenance research project. Due to lack of expertise, many institutions are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of provenance research projects, therefore, some direction on where to start would be invaluable, especially for smaller institutions.

Appendix F: Terezin Declaration, June 30, 2009

Upon the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic we the representatives of 46 states listed below met this day, June 30, 2009 in Terezín, where thousands of European Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution died or were sent to death camps during World War II. We participated in the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference organized by the Czech Republic and its partners in Prague and Terezín from 26-30 June 2009, discussed together with experts and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives important issues such as Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and other Victims of Nazi Persecution, Immovable Property, Jewish Cemeteries and Burial Sites, Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art, Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property, Archival Materials, and Education, Remembrance, Research and Memorial Sites. We join affirming in this 

Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and Related Issues

Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art

Recognizing that art and cultural property of victims of the Holocaust (Shoah) and other victims of Nazi persecution was confiscated, sequestered and spoliated, by the Nazis, the Fascists and their collaborators through various means including theft, coercion and confiscation, and on grounds of relinquishment as well as forced sales and sales under duress, during the Holocaust era between 1933-45 and as an immediate consequence, and 

Recalling the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art as endorsed at the Washington Conference of 1998, which enumerated a set of voluntary commitments for governments that were based upon the moral principle that art and cultural property confiscated by the Nazis from Holocaust (Shoah) victims should be returned to them or their heirs, in a manner consistent with national laws and regulations as well as international obligations, in order to achieve just and fair solutions, 

  1. We reaffirm our support of the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and we encourage all parties including public and private institutions and individuals to apply them as well, 
  2. In particular, recognizing that restitution cannot be accomplished without knowledge of potentially looted art and cultural property, we stress the importance for all stake-holders to continue and support intensified systematic provenance research, with due regard to legislation, in both public and private archives, and where relevant to make the results of this research, including ongoing updates, available via the internet, with due regard to privacy rules and regulations. Where it has not already been done, we also recommend the establishment of mechanisms to assist claimants and others in their efforts, 
  3. Keeping in mind the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, and considering the experience acquired since the Washington Conference, we urge all stakeholders to ensure that their legal systems or alternative processes, while taking into account the different legal traditions, facilitate just and fair solutions with regard to Nazi-confiscated and looted art, and to make certain that claims to recover such art are resolved expeditiously and based on the facts and merits of the claims and all the relevant documents submitted by all parties. Governments should consider all relevant issues when applying various legal provisions that may impede the restitution of art and cultural property, in order to achieve just and fair solutions, as well as alternative dispute resolution, where appropriate under law. 

Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property

Recognizing that the Holocaust (Shoah) also resulted in the wholesale looting of Judaica and Jewish cultural property including sacred scrolls, synagogue and ceremonial objects as well as the libraries, manuscripts, archives and records of Jewish communities, and 

Aware that the murder of six million Jews, including entire communities, during the Holocaust (Shoah) meant that much of this historical patrimony could not be reclaimed after World War II, and 

Recognizing the urgent need to identify ways to achieve a just and fair solution to the issue of Judaica and Jewish cultural property, where original owners, or heirs of former original Jewish owners, individuals or legal persons cannot be identified, while acknowledging there is no universal model, 

  1. We encourage and support efforts to identify and catalogue these items which may be found in archives, libraries, museums and other government and non-government repositories, to return them to their original rightful owners and other appropriate individuals or institutions according to national law, and to consider a voluntary international registration of Torah scrolls and other Judaica objects where appropriate, and 
  2. We encourage measures that will ensure their protection, will make appropriate materials available to scholars, and where appropriate and possible in terms of conservation, will restore sacred scrolls and ceremonial objects currently in government hands to synagogue use, where needed, and will facilitate the circulation and display of such Judaica internationally by adequate and agreed upon solutions. 

Appendix G: CHERP Provenance Research Checklist

Artist:

Title:

Year:

Material: 

Dimensions:

Inventory no.:

Researcher: 

Date:

Object Research

Examine recto, verso, stretcher, and frame, and take photos of all findings.

Institutional Files

Library Research

Consider alternate titles and former attributions while conducting research.

Artist and object:
Auction sales:
Collectors:

Online Research

Databases listing Nazi-looted art:
Literature:
Auctions:
Photo archives:
Collectors:
Archives
Photo Archives

For further provenance related information and resources listed by country, consult lootedart.com. 

Appendix H: SLAM/NGC Guidelines for Recording Provenance Information

(Developed by the Saint Louis Art Museum and adapted by the National Gallery of Canada) 

The three main sections in a narrative provenance are: 
Dates 
Collection/Owner 
Notes 

Dates and Collection/Owner are written chronologically from the earliest owner to the latest owner. Notes follow this line of ownership and list supporting references and supplemental information. These three sections are explained in detail below. 

I. Dates

1. Dates reflect the beginning and ending dates of ownership of a particular collection. Documentation must support each date. 

2. Each date includes a hyphen to indicate duration of time, following the examples below: 

1955 - 1970  The work was in this collection from 1955 to 1970. 
1955 - The work entered this collection in 1955, but we do not know when it left.
- 1955 We do not know when the work entered this collection, but it left in 1955.
by 1955 -  We know the work was in this collection by 1955, but it may have entered earlier. Can be combined with an ending date
- still in 1955  We know the work was still in this collection in 1955, but it may have left at a later date. Can be combined with a beginning date.
1955  The work was only in a collection during one year. Most frequently used with dealers. 
1955/06/25  The work was purchased on this exact date or was offered at auction on this exact date. Format: year/month/day. Years are four digits. Months and days are two digits.

Exact dates are used as beginning dates (to the left of the hyphen) but not as ending dates. For this reason, when the seller and purchaser are both known, the ending date of the seller is the year only. The beginning date of the purchaser is the exact date. 

Other date examples: 

c.1955 We do not know the exact date, but sources indicate that it was around 1955. Can be used as either the beginning date or the ending date, with the appropriate hyphens. Explain the circa date in a corresponding note (example: According to Mr. Doe, the work was purchased around 1955).
1950s
early 1950s 
mid-1950s
late 1950s
Decade formats when the exact date is not known, but a decade or part of a decade is known. Can be used as either the beginning or the ending date, with the appropriate hyphens.
18th century
early 18th century
mid-18th century
late 18th century
Century formats when the exact date is not known, but a century or part of a century is known. Can be used as either the beginning or ending date, with the appropriate hyphens.
[blank date] A collection name with no date given indicates that we know the work was in this collection, but we do not know precisely when. We do know the work was in this collection between the owners listed above and below, though there may be other unknown owners in the chain of ownership.

II. Collection/Owner

1. The collection/owner line contains three types of information:

  1. The name of the collection 
  2. The location(s) of the collection, if known 
  3. The means through which the work entered the collection, if known 

Each type is explained in detail in points 3, 4, and 5 below. 

2. The collection/owner line appears directly beneath each date.

3. Name of the collection

The name of the owner(s) is given first. Do not use the word Collection unless only a last name is known. 

Examples
Collection of John Smith (incorrect) 
John Smith (correct) 
John and Mary Smith (correct) 
Smith Collection (correct, only the last name is known) 

If known, include the birth and death dates of the owner, especially if they relate to the object’s transfer of ownership. Use a hyphen without spaces to separate birth and death years. Use b. to abbreviate born. Use d. to abbreviate died. 

Examples
John Smith (1800-1890) 
John Smith (b.1800) 
John Smith (d.1890) and Mary Smith (d.1895) 

Private Collection. Use Private Collection when the name of the collector is not known, or when the collector’s name is known but he or she wishes to remain anonymous. If a collector wishes to remain anonymous, indicate this in a corresponding note. 

Unidentified Dealer. Use Unidentified dealer when it is known that the work was with a dealer, but the name of the dealer is unknown. 

Saint Louis Art Museum. For objects in the permanent collection, the Saint Louis Art Museum is the final owner. Include the name of the museum as Saint Louis Art Museum without a preceding “The.” For works acquired prior to the Museum’s name change in 1972, still use Saint Louis Art Museum as the final owner, because the Museum continues to own the work under this name. 

4. Location of the collection

If known, the location follows the name of the collection, separated by a comma. If the location is outside the United States, use the format city, country
Example: M. David Schevitch, Paris, France 

If the location is inside the United States, give the city, state (two-letter abbreviation), and USA. 
Example: Albert Blair (d.1931) and Susan N. Blair, St. Louis, MO, USA 

Exception 1: When the Saint Louis Art Museum is the owner, omit the location. 

Exception 2: If the object is made in the United States and never leaves the United States, it is not necessary to include USA

If the collector moves while owning the artwork, list each location in chronological order, separated with a semi-colon. 
Example: Eugene Fischhof (1850-1912), Paris, France; New York, NY, USA 

If the collector resides in multiple cities, also separate each location with a semi-colon. 

5. Method of transfer

The means by which the object entered the collection (method of transfer), if known, is entered after the name and location of the collection, separated with a comma. Frequently used terms include purchased from, given by, bequest of, commissioned by, and by inheritance. 

Example 1:
by 1930 - 1939 
Clarence H. Mackay (1874-1938), Rosyln, NY, USA, purchased from Cyril Andrade 

Example 2:
1983 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest of Morton D. May 

If an object transferred directly from one person to another, but the method is unknown, use acquired from. 
Example: 
c.1948 - 2003 
Private Collection, France, acquired from Adeline Oppenheim Guimard 

6. Auction purchases

For works acquired at auction, the auction house, location, date, and lot number (in that order) follow the name of the purchaser. The title of the auction may or may not be listed, depending on its length and relevance. 

Example 1:
- 1863 
Edward Rose Tunno, London, England, acquired from the artist 

1863/07/11 - 
Haines Collection, London, England, purchased at the sale of the Edward Rose Tunno collection, Christie’s, London, July 11, 1863, lot no. 136 

Example 2:
1986/11/10 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased at auction, “Contemporary Art, Part I,” Sotheby’s, New York, November 10, 1986, lot no. 13 

Exception. When we know an item was offered at auction but we do not know the purchaser, follow the example below: 

Example
1943/04/29 
In auction of “Important Paintings” at Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 29, 1943, lot no. 41 

7. Lengthy ownership within one family

For works that transferred to individuals in a family, generally through inheritance, the names of these individuals can be given in one line separated by semicolons. This is particularly useful when ownership dates for each individual are not known. The method of transfer, if known, follows each name, separated by a comma. 

Example
by 1768 - 1942 
William Irby Boston (1706/1707-1775), 1st Baron, Hedsor Lodge, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England; Frederick Irby Boston (d.1825), 2nd Baron, by inheritance; George Irby Boston (1777-1856), 3rd Baron, by inheritance; George Ives Irby Boston (d.1869), 4th Baron, by inheritance; Florance George Henry Irby Boston (d.1877), 5th Baron, by inheritance; George Florance Irby Boston (d.1941), 6th Baron, by inheritance [1] 

Individuals in a family may have different locations. Include their locations, if known, after their names and before the method of transfer. 

Example
late 19th century - 1974 
Jervis D. Brown, Milford, CT; Florine Brown Cave, by gift or inheritance; Annette Cave, The Dalles, OR, by gift or inheritance [1] 

If the names of individual inheritors are not identified, but it is known that a work stayed in a family, describe the inheritors by their relation. 

Example 1:
c.1930 - 1971 
Edwin S. Webster, Boston, MA; his family, by inheritance [2] 

Example 2:
by 1953 - 
Mrs. Adrien Jaubert (d.1953), France; her grandson, by inheritance [1] 

8. Dealers and galleries

In general, use the same format for dealers and galleries that is used for individuals. In addition, if the dealer/gallery was owned by a named representative, who personally handled the object’s sale, include the name of that person in parentheses after the name of the dealer/gallery. The representative’s name does not need to be included in subsequent references. 

Example
1957 
Fine Arts Associates (Otto Gerson), New York, NY, USA 

1957 - 1983 
Morton D. May, St. Louis, MO, purchased from Fine Arts Associates 

9. Agents

If a dealer, gallery, or individual acted as an agent between a seller and a purchaser, do not include the agent on his or her own line. Rather, include the agent as part of the purchaser’s line. 

Example 1:
1960 - 1983 
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, purchased from Paul I. Heymann, through agent Saul Schulhoff 

Example 2:
1979 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Philip M. Stern, through Blum Helman Gallery, Inc., New York, NY 

10. Joint ownership

When two or more individuals or businesses own an artwork, include each party’s name and location, followed by (owned jointly), followed by the method of transfer (if known). 

Example 1:
1925 
Galerie Paul Cassirer, Berlin, Germany, and Galerie M. Goldschmidt & Co., Frankfurt, Germany (owned jointly), purchased from the artist [1] 

Example 2:
1937 - 1938 
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, NY, and Valentine Gallery (Valentine Dudensing), New York, NY (owned jointly), purchased from Lee Ault 

11. Partial and promised gifts

For objects that are partial and promised gifts to the Museum, include the donor on his or her own line, followed by the Museum on its own line. Include the location and method of transfer for each. 

For the ending date, use the year the donor gave complete ownership to the Museum. If complete ownership has not been transferred, do not give a closing date on the donor’s line. 

If complete ownership has been transferred, indicate this with the phrase full ownership transferred in [year] in the Museum’s line. 

Example 1: (partial transfer of ownership given in 1961; complete ownership transferred in 1962) 
by 1954 - 1962 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Weil, St. Louis, MO, purchased from Sam Salz, Inc. [5] 

1961 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, partial and promised gift of Richard K. Weil, full ownership transferred in 1962 

Example 2: (partial transfer of ownership given in 2001; complete transfer of ownership not yet given) 
1972 - 
Joseph Pulitzer Jr. (1913-1993) and Emily Rauh Pulitzer (b.1933), St. Louis, MO, purchased from E. V. Thaw & Co. 

2001 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, partial and promised gift of Emily Rauh Pulitzer 

12. Works owned by the artist

In general, works owned by the artist for a significant length of time (decided on a case by case basis), should list the artist as the initial owner. When the artist is included in his or her own line, follow the same rules for collection name except: 

  1. Do not use the object’s creation date as the begin date of the artist’s ownership; instead, leave the begin date blank 
  2. In the method of transfer from the artist to the next owner, use the artist rather than the artist’s name 

Example: (object made in 2001) 
- 2006 
Nicholas Nixon (b.1947), Brookline, MA 

2006 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by the artist 

If an artist owned an object for only a short duration, it is not necessary to include the artist in his own line as an owner. 

Example: (object made in 1869) 
1869 - 
Alfred Stevens (1823-1906), purchased from the artist 

13. Excavations

Artworks that have been excavated can include the excavation event as collector/owner. Include the excavator’s name if known. 

Example 1:
1845 
Excavated by Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894), Northwest Palace, room L,
Nimrud, Assyria (modern day Iraq) 

Example 2:
c.1909 - 
John Crowfoot, excavated in Mississippi County, AR 

14. Confiscations and Restitutions

When an artwork was illegally seized from an owner, use confiscated from as the method of transfer. When the artwork was returned to that owner use restituted from as the method of transfer. 

Example 1:
by 1937/1938 - early 1940s 
Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein, Wiesbaden, Germany 

early 1940s - 
German National Socialist (Nazi) government, confiscated from Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein 

- 1945 
Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt, Germany 

1945 - 1949 
Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, Germany 

1949 - 1961 
Dr. F. C. Katzenstein, Salem, IL, USA, restituted from Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden 

III. Notes

1. The notes area contains two types of information:

  1. Sources which support dates and collection/owner 
  2. Additional relevant and explanatory material which supplements the date, collection, location, and method of transfer 

2. Notes begin two paragraph spaces below the date/collection area, preceded by Notes: on its own line. Separate notes with a single paragraph space. Information in the notes area should be written clearly and concisely.

Most notes receive a number in brackets ([1], [2], etc.), that corresponds to a number in the Dates/Collection/Owner area. Sometimes it is appropriate to include a general unnumbered note that applies to the provenance as a whole. Details and examples of unnumbered notes are given in points 10 and 11. 

3. Citations

Full bibliographic citations are given in brackets. Bibliographic citations follow the Chicago Manual of Style [Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Title.” City: Publisher, Date], with the exception that titles are in quotes instead of italics. Catalogue numbers or relevant page numbers can be given after the date, if known. 

Example:
In the 1936 catalogue raisonné, Georg Hess is referenced as owner [Schardt, Alois. “Franz Marc.” Berlin: Rembrandt Verlag, 1936, p. 162]. 

Citing Auction Catalogs. 
Citations for auction catalogs follow a slightly different format [“Title of Auction.” Auction House, Location, Date(s) of Sale, lot number]. Follow the example below: 

Example:
See the auction catalog [“Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters, the Property of the Right Hon. the Late Lord Boston.” Christie’s, London, March 6, 1942, lot no. 52]. 

For other sources and their citation formats, see Appendix E, Citation Format Guidelines

4. Citing the Museum’s ownership

Reference the Saint Louis Art Museum’s acquisition of a work by citing: 

  1. the name and date of the document that transferred ownership, such as an invoice, bill of sale, deed of gift, or will (if one exists) 
  2. the date the acquisition appears in the Museum’s Minutes 

The “Minutes” are the Museum’s official documents that record proceedings of acquisition meetings. The name of the body that presided over acquisitions changed over time, as did the name of the Museum. A list of board and committee names and their dates of existence is provided at the end of this Appendix (page 30). The name of the board or committee cited in the note must correspond to the date of acquisition. Likewise, the name of the Museum referenced in the note must correspond to the name of the Museum as it was on the date of acquisition. 

Example 1:
Invoice dated November 2, 1934 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 3, 1935. 

Example 2:
Bill of Sale dated February 1, 2002 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, February 25, 2002. 

Citing the Board of Trustees. In recent years, some acquisitions have required the approval of the Collections Committee and the Museum’s Board of Trustees. Include both bodies in the note.

Example:
[4] Purchase agreement between Michael Werner Gallery and the Saint Louis Art Museum, May 1, 2003 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, March 4, 2003; and the Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, March 10, 2003. 

5. Citing documents in the document files

When citing documents (invoices, correspondence, staff memos, conservation reports, etc.) from the SLAM document files, do not specify closed or open files. Simply describe the document, followed by [SLAM document files]. For letters and invoices, always give the sender and the date. If the letter or invoice recipient is someone at the Museum, it is not necessary to include the recipient’s name. If the letter or invoice recipient is someone outside of the Museum, include the recipient’s name. 

Example 1:
[1] According to a letter from Hirschl & Adler dated April 23, 1969, the painting remained in the family of the original owner until it was acquired by the gallery [SLAM document files]. 

Example 2:
[1] A letter from Alfred Stieglitz to Mrs. Stix dated February 25, 1926, acknowledges Mrs. Stix’s purchase of this painting [SLAM document files]. 

If information is cited from current SLAM accession records, or the Museum Minutes, this can be explained within the corresponding note, and does not need to be within brackets. 

Example
Morton D. May acquired the quilt from Meyer, according to a handwritten note on the SLAM accession record. 

It is not necessary to include [SLAM document files] when citing published references that are available to any researcher through most public libraries. Include [SLAM document files] only if the copy in the document file is especially rare or uniquely annotated. 

6. Citing conversations

When citing a conversation you have had, compose a note about the conversation, and cite that note in the provenance reference (also add the note to the document file). Both on the note and within the citation, include the date of conversation and the names of the people involved. 

Example
According to Kay Robertson, daughter of Adolph Loewi, Loewi had joint ownership of the painting with Rudolf Heinemann, who was his partner and worked closely with him…[notes of telephone conversation between Kay Robertson and Museum researcher Beth Hinrichs, August 2002, SLAM document files]. 

7. Citing archives

When citing a document from an archival collection, include the name of the item, date of the item, and the name and location of the depository. If applicable, also include the name of the collection and series or file name. If the document is from an archive outside of the Museum, and there is a photocopy of the document in the document file, indicate this at the end of the citation. 

Example
A Vigeveno Galleries stockcard indicates that the painting was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel J. Levin in September of 1951 [record card, James Vigeveno Galleries records, 1940-1975, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; photocopy, SLAM document files]. 

If citing a document from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s archives, it is not necessary to include the location of the archives. 

Example
[1] The sitter in this portrait, Lucy Turner Joy, lent the picture to the Museum prior to the Museum purchasing the work from her in 1917. The start date of the loan is not known [letters to and from Lucy Turner Joy dating from August 24 - December 31, 1917, Robert A. Holland Director’s Correspondence, Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. 

If the name and date of the item is included within the sentence of the note, it is not required in the bracketed citation. 

Example
Per invoice from Catherine Viviano Gallery to Morton D. May dated May 21, 1957 [May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. 

8. Repeated references to the same information

If a note references information (including sources) provided in an earlier note, use See note [x] to reference the earlier note. If what is being referenced is unclear, either give an explanation or use an abbreviated citation (see point 9). 

Example
[1] Dealer correspondence states that the painting came into the collection of the Royal family of Spain through Count Dominguez [letter from dealer Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc., dated February 28, 1935, to the Museum, SLAM document files]. 

[4] In Seligmann’s 1935 letter (see note [1]), there is a statement indicating that the picture was in a Spanish collection, not yet discovered… 

9. Abbreviated Citations

Once a full citation has been given, and See note [x] does not clarify which source is being referenced, abbreviate the citation in subsequent notes. In most cases, author’s last name and page numbers suffice. 

Example
[2] According to a note in a 1983 exhibition catalogue, the sculpture was acquired by Rosy and Ludwig Fischer after the 1919 sale at the Galerie Ludwig Schames [Barron, Stephanie. “German Expressionist Sculpture.” Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum, 1983, cat. 68]. It is not clear, however, whether Rosy and Ludwig Fischer acquired the work from Galerie Ludwig Schames at this time. This sculpture is visible in a 1923 photograph of the dining room of Ludwig and Rosy Fischer, taken the year after Ludwig Fischer’s death [Heuberger, Georg, ed. “Expressionismus und Exil: Die Sammlung Ludwig and Rosy Fischer, Frankfurt am Main.” München: Prestel, 1990, p. 18]. 

[3] The Fischer collection was divided and inherited by Ludwig and Rosy Fischer’s sons, Max Fischer and Ernst Fischer (1896-1981). This sculpture was part of the collection inherited by Max Fischer [Heuberger, p. 170, 116, 118]. 

10. General note: single main source

When the majority of the provenance comes from one source such as a catalogue raisonné, the first note should be an unnumbered note, which explains this and cites the source. If other sources are used to support the provenance, indicate this with the phrase Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. Cite these documents in subsequent notes. 

Example
Notes: 
The main source for this provenance is de la Faille’s catalogue raisonné, the 1970 revised edition, cat. no. 379 [Faille, J.-B. de la. “The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings.” Amsterdam, Meulenhoff International, 1970]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. 

[1] The artist gave the painting shortly after it was completed in 1887 to Alexander Reid, with whom he was living in Paris [Pickvance, Ronald. “Van Gogh in Arles.” New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1984; Cooper, Douglas. “Alex Reid, van Gogh, and the Lefevre Gallery,” in “Yearbook and Directory of Members of the Society of London Art Dealers,” 1994]. 

11. General note: other

Other information relevant to understanding the provenance of the work can also be included within an unnumbered note. One common example of a general note is an explanation that the piece is one of a pair or set that may or may not share the same provenance. 

Example
This piece is part of a seven piece bedroom suite (183:1977.1-.7). Each piece in the suite shares the same provenance. 

An object may require two general notes. Separate into two paragraphs with a single paragraph space between. 

Example
Notes: 
The main source for this provenance is the catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 488 [Constable, W.G. “Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697 1768.” 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press, 1989, cat. no. 488]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. 

This painting is part of a pair. The other painting from the pair, “Capriccio: an Island in the Lagoon, with a Church and a Column” (Constable 487), shares the same history with this painting until they were separated following the 1966 Hall collection auction. 

12. Ex-collection

After all collection names and dates have been entered correctly into the narrative provenance field, these should be entered and/or verified in the ex-collection constituents area in TMS, following the same order and date format. See Section III, pages 67-70. 

Provenance Examples

Example 1

Max Beckmann, The King, 1933-37, 850:1983

Example of: 

- 1939 
Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands [1] 
1939 - still in 1949
Stephan Lackner (1910-2000), Santa Barbara, CA, USA, acquired from the artist [2] 
- 1950 
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York, NY 
1950 - 1983 
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, purchased from Curt Valentin [3] 
1983 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest of Morton D. May [4] 

Notes: 
The main source for this provenance is Göpel’s catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 470 [Göpel, Erhard and Barbara Göpel. “Max Beckmann: Katalog der Gemälde.” Bern: Kornfeld & Cie., 1976]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. 

[1] Max Beckmann kept lists of most of his paintings which often included the dates that they were worked on. This painting appears on Beckmann’s 1933 list with a note that says he finished work on the painting in 1937 in Amsterdam. Before it was completed, the painting was exhibited in its first state in 1934 and 1935 [“The 1934 International Exhibition of Paintings.” Pittsburgh: Carnegie Institute, 1934, cat. no. 289; “Carnegie International 1934.” San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935, cat. no. 37]. In 1937 in Amsterdam, Beckmann revised and completed the painting and signed it. 

[2] Stephan Lackner was a lifelong supporter of Max Beckmann and his art. According to Göpel, Lackner acquired this painting in 1939. We know that in September 1938, Beckmann and Lackner closed a contract for the collector to purchase two paintings per month from Beckmann for a flat fee. It is likely that the acquisition of “The King” by Lackner was a result of this arrangement. Lackner may have then brought the picture with him to the United States when he emigrated from France in April 1939. By 1940, the painting was exhibited in San Francisco as well as at the Buchholz Gallery, New York [“Golden Gate International Exhibition.” San Francisco: Palace of Fine Arts, 1940, cat. no. 605; “Max Beckmann Paintings 1936-39.” New York: Buchholz Gallery Curt Valentin, 1940, cat. no. 5]. In 1949, according to Reifenberg and Hausenstein, the painting was still in Lackner’s possession [Reifenberg, Benno and Wilhelm Hausenstein. “Max Beckmann.” München: R. Piper, 1949, cat. no. 367]. 

[3] The sale of the painting is documented in an invoice dated July 5, 1950 [May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. 

[4] Last Will and Testament of M. D. May dated June 11, 1982 [copy, May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 20, 1983. 

Example 2

Robert Henri, Betalo Rubino, Dramatic Dancer, 1916, 841:1920

Example of: 

- 1920 
Robert Henri (1865-1929), New York, NY 
1920 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from the artist [1] 

Notes: 
[1] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, February 5, 1920. 

Example 3

French, Animal Capital, first quarter 12th century, 86:1949

Example of: 

- still in 1840 
Church of the Notre-Dame of the Cluniac Priory, La-Charité-sur-Loire, Nièvre, Burgundy, France [1] 
- 1934 
Charbonnel Collection, La Flèche, France 
1934 - 1949 
Brummer Gallery, Inc. (Joseph Brummer, d.1947), New York, NY, USA, purchased from Charbonnel [2] 
1949 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased through R. Stora & Company, New York, at the sale of the Joseph Brummer Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 11-14, 1949, lot no. 594 [3] 

Notes: 
[1] An engraving of the capital lying among a group of architectural fragments near the church of La-Charité-sur-Loire is illustrated in an 1840 publication [Moreller, M., M. Barat, and E. Bussière. “Le Nivernois: Album historique et pittoresque.” Vol. II. Nevers, 1840, p.10]. 

[2] According to Brummer’s inventory card of the capital, he purchased it from “Charbonnel” on July 2, 1934 [inventory card, Brummer files, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, transcript in SLAM document files]. Charbonnel is likely J. Charbonnel, a dealer who sold other medieval objects to Brummer in the 1930s including the Museum’s “Lancet Reception Window” (accession number 3:1935). Charbonnel’s first initial is listed on Brummer’s inventory card for the stained glass window [SLAM document files]. It is not known how or when Charbonnel acquired the object. 

The capital remained in Brummer’s estate upon his death in 1947 and was included in the 1949 auction of his collection [“Classical and Medieval Stone Sculptures. Part III of the Joseph Brummer Collection.” Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, June 8-9, 1949, lot no. 594, p. 142]. 

[3] See note [2]. Invoice from Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. dated June 8-9, 1949 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, October 6, 1949. 

Example 4

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), An Island in the Lagoon with a Gateway and a Church, 1743-44, 12:1967

Example of: 

by 1768 - 1942 
William Irby Boston (1706/1707-1775), 1st Baron, Hedsor Lodge, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England; Frederick Irby Boston (d.1825), 2nd Baron, by inheritance; George Irby Boston (1777-1856), 3rd Baron, by inheritance; George Ives Irby Boston (d.1869), 4th Baron, by inheritance; Florance George Henry Irby Boston (d.1877), 5th Baron, by inheritance; George Florance Irby Boston (d.1941), 6th Baron, by inheritance [1] 
1942/03/06 - 
Leger Galleries, Ltd., London, England, purchased at the sale of the Boston collection, Christie’s, London, March 6, 1942, lot no. 52 [2] 
by 1962 - 
Mrs. John Hall 
- 1966 
Patrick C. Hall, Longford Hall, Newport, Shropshire, England, possibly by inheritance
1966/07/06 - 1967 
Georges Bernier, Paris, France, and E. V. Thaw & Co., New York, NY, USA (owned jointly), purchased at auction of the Hall collection, Sotheby’s, London, July 6, 1966, lot no. 65 [3] 
1967 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Bernier and Thaw [4] 

Notes: 
The main source for this provenance is the catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 488 [Constable, W.G. “Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697 1768.” 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press, 1989, cat. no. 488]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. 

This painting is part of a pair. The other painting from the pair, “Capriccio: an Island in the Lagoon, with a Church and a Column” (Constable 487), shares the same history with this painting until they were separated following the 1966 Hall collection auction. 

[1] According to the catalogue raisonné, the painting was said to have been bought by Lord Boston in Italy and to have remained with the family since it was painted. Canaletto died in 1768. If the painting was purchased from the artist as Constable suggests, then this would have been the latest that the painting could have entered the Lord Boston Collection. 

[2] See the auction catalog [“Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters, the Property of the Right Hon. the Late Lord Boston.” Christie’s, London, March 6, 1942, lot no. 52]. 

[3] Georges Bernier is listed as the purchaser in the Sotheby’s auction catalog [“Catalogue of Important Old Master Paintings.” Sotheby’s, London, July 6, 1966, lot no. 65; list of buyers and prices, SLAM document files]. Correspondence between the Saint Louis Art Museum and Bernier indicates that Bernier owned the painting jointly with Thaw when it was sold to the Museum [letter dated March 1, 1967, SLAM document files]. 

[4] Invoice dated May 23, 1967 from E. V. Thaw & Co. [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and Associate Members of the Board of Control of the City Art Museum, May 11, 1967. 

Example 5

Swiss, Pavise (Archer’s Shield), before 1467, 94:1932

Example of: 

- 1932 
Count von Erbach, Erbach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany 
1932 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Count von Erbach through Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc., at auction “Gräflich Erbach’sche Waffensammlung aus dem Rittersaal zu Erbach im Odenwald,” Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, Switzerland, September 6-7, 1932, lot no. 49 [1] 

Notes: 
[1] According to the Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc. invoice dated October 1, 1932, 94:1932 was purchased on behalf of the Museum at the Count Erbach sale “Gräflich Erbach’sche Waffensammlung aus dem Rittersaal zu Erbach im Odenwald” held at Galerie Fischer in Lucerne, Switzerland, on September 6-7, 1932 [SLAM document files]. The pavise entered the auction as lot no. 49. It was entered into the Museum’s Accession Log on October 6, 1932 [Accession Log, Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. 

Example 6

François Boucher, The Dovecote, 1758, 75:1937

Example of: 

- 1783 
Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d’Azincourt (1719-1794), Paris, France [1] 
1783/02/10 
In sale of the collection of Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d’Azincourt, Hôtel de Louvois, Paris, France, February 10, 1783, lot no. 44 
- 1884 
Baron L. d’Ivry [2] 
1884/05/07 
In sale of the Baron L. d’Ivry collection, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France, May 7-9, 1884, lot no. 5 
Comte Alexandre de La Borde, Paris, France 
by 1932 - 1936 
H. Winterfield, Nice, France [3] 
1936/12/09 - 
Robert Frank, London, England, purchased at the sale of the H. Winterfield collection, Sotheby’s, London, December 9, 1936, lot no. 87 [4] 
- 1937 
Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc., New York, NY, USA 
1937 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc. [5] 

Notes: 
The primary source for this provenance is Ananoff’s 1976 catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 513 [Ananoff, Alexandre, and Daniel Wildenstein. “François Boucher.” Volume 2. Lausanne: La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1976, pp. 184-185, cat. no. 513]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted. 

[1] Berthélémy Augustin Blondel d’Azincourt was a wealthy collector with an impressive gallery of art and other curiosities by many of the leading artists of the day, including François Boucher. In d’Azincourt, Boucher found a loyal patron evident by the 500 drawings by the artist that d’Azincourt owned at the time of his death in 1794 [“Azincourt, Barthélémy-Augustin Blondel d’(Dazaincourt),” Grove Art Online, accessed April 14, 2004, ]. It is unknown when this painting was acquired by d’Azincourt, or who purchased the painting at the 1783 auction of his collection [“Catalogue des Tableaux, dessins, marbres, bronzes, terre cuites, pierres gravées, meubles precieux...du Cabinet de M. d’Azincourt.” Hôtel de Louvois, Paris, February 10, 1783, lot no. 44]. Since d’Azincourt was a patron of Boucher, perhaps he commissioned the painting from the artist. 

[2] The painting was in Paris for the 1884 auction of Baron L. d’Ivry’s collection at the Galerie Georges Petit. It is unknown if the painting was purchased during the sale [“Catalogues des Objets d’Art et d’ameublement et des tableaux anciens dependant de la succession de M. Le Baron L. D’Ivry.” Galerie George Petit, Paris, May 7-9, 1884, lot no. 5]. 

[3] H. Winterfield’s name is listed as the lender to a 1932 benefit exhibition of Boucher held at the residence of M. Jean Charpentier in Paris [Nolhac, Pierre de. “Exposition: François Boucher (1703-1770).” Paris, 1932, cat. no. 87]. According to Ananoff’s 1976 catalogue raisonné, Winterfield was from Nice, France; the catalogue entry also lists the previous owners as d’Azincourt and the Baron d’Ivry. It is unknown how Winterfield acquired the painting, or how his collection was brought to London for the 1936 auction. 

[4] See note [3]. In an annotated copy of the auction catalogue, R. Frank is handwritten in the margin next to the entry. R. Frank is Robert Frank, a London dealer [“Catalogue of Highly Important Paintings and Drawings.” Sotheby’s, London, December 9, 1936, lot no. 87, annotated copy in SLAM document files; letter from the Getty Provenance Index dated November 24, 1987, SLAM document files]. 

[5] Bill of sale from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc. dated January 5, 1938 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, November 4, 1937. 

Example 7

Janet Cardiff, Taking Pictures, 2000, 62:2000

Example of: 

2000 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, commissioned from the artist [1] 

Notes: 
[1] This work was commissioned from the artist for the special exhibition “Wonderland” [Steiner, Rochelle. “Wonderland.” St. Louis: Saint Louis Art Museum, 2000]. Invoice dated July 7, 2000 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 6, 2000. 

Example 8

Byzantine, Bracelet, c.400, 54:1924

Example of: 

by 1913 - 
Private Collection [1] 
by 1922 - 1924 
Kouchakji Frères, New York, NY, USA, purchased from private collection [2] 
1924 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Kouchakji Frères [3] 

Notes: 
[1] A letter dated January 4, 1922, from the dealer Kouchakji Frères indicates that the bracelet was excavated by 1913 from Tartous, Mount Lebanon, Syria. The excavator kept the bracelet in his collection until his death, after which Kouchakji Frères purchased it from the excavator’s heirs [SLAM document files]. 

[2] See note [1]. 

[3] Invoice, dated May 19, 1924 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 4, 1924. 

Example 9

Nicholaes Maes, The Account Keeper, 1656, 72:1950

Example of: 

by 1827 - still in 1861 
Count Christian Sternberg, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia [1] 
- 1950 
Private Collection [2] 
1950 
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, NY, USA, purchased from private collector 
1950 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Mortimer Brandt Gallery [3] 

Notes: 
[1] In a letter dated November 5, 1980 the National Gallery in Prague provided detailed information about the provenance of this work [SLAM document files]. Initially the painting belonged to the collection of Count Christian Sternberg of the castle Zásmuky, Bohemia. From there it went on long-term loan to the newly established picture gallery of the Society of the Patriotic Friends of Art in Prague, Czechoslovakia. In 1827 the painting was included in a publication featuring the works on display at this gallery. In 1861 it was returned to its original owner, Count Christian Sternberg. However, in 1864, the painting was published as still in the Patriotic Friends picture gallery [Parthey, G. “Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichniss der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen.” Berlin: Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1864]. 

[2] According to a statement from Mortimer Brandt Gallery dated April 8, 1950, this owner expressed the desire to remain anonymous and unpublished [SLAM document files]. 

[3] Bill of Sale, April 14, 1950 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, May 11, 1950. 

Example 10

Egyptian, Butchering Scenes, Tomb of Prince Mentuemhat, c.680-650 B.C., 1:1958.1,.2

Example of: 

c.1891 
Excavated from a tomb in the Asasif Valley near Deir el-Bahri, Egypt [1] 
by 1957 - 1958 
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mallon, New York, NY, USA [2] 
1958 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mallon [3] 

Notes: 
[1] It seems the reliefs (1:1958.1, 1:1958.2) were uncovered sometime between 1885, when archeologist Auguste Eisenlohr cleared out part of the chamber from which they were taken, and 1891 when Vincent Scheil published a precise description and illustration of the reliefs [Leclant, Jean. “Montouemhat: quatrième prophète d’Amon, prince de la ville.” Cairo: Imprimerie de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1961, p. 175-176; Scheil, Vincent. “Le tombeau de Montou-m-hat.” In “Tombeaux thébains de Mai, des Graveurs, Ratéserkasenb, Pari, Djanni, Apoui, Montou-m-hat, Aba,” 613-23, pls.1-2. Paris: n.p., 1891]. 

[2] A letter from John D. Cooney dated January 9, 1957 indicates that the reliefs were in the possession of the Mallons when Cooney examined them a few days before he wrote the letter [SLAM document files]. 

[3] The bill of sale, dated March 5, 1958, lists Mrs. M. Mallon as the seller. A handwritten invoice, dated January 15, 1958 confirms that Mrs. M. Mallon and Mrs. Paul Mallon are the same person [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and the Advisory Committee of the City Art Museum, January 9, 1958. 

Example 11

Warren McArthur, Floor Lamp, c.1937-40, 16:2006

Example of: 

- c.1992 
Unidentified dealer, Boston, MA 
c.1992 - 1993 
Richard Grieco, Marblehead, MA, purchased from unidentified dealer [1] 
1993 - 2006 
Nicholas Brown, Camden, ME, purchased from Richard Grieco [2] 
2006 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Nicholas Brown [3] 

Notes: 
[1] According to Nicholas Brown in an email to C. McCarty, dated April 28, 2006, Richard Grieco purchased the floor lamp from a dealer in Boston, MA [SLAM document files]. 

[2] See note [1]. 

[3] Invoice dated May 8, 2006 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, June 20, 2006. 

Example 12

Kem Weber, Zephyr Electric Clock, 1934, 77:2005

Example of: 

Adams Stationers, St. Louis, MO [1] 

- 1977 
Private Collection, Shrewsbury, MO 
1977 - 2005 
John Roslevich, Creve Coeur, MO, purchased from private collector [2] 
2005 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by John Roslevich [3] 

Notes: 
[1] A label on the bottom of the clock indicates that it was offered for sale at Adams Stationers in St. Louis. 

[2] John Roslevich purchased the clock at an estate sale in 1977. He hypothesized that the Shrewsbury collector might have been the first owner of the clock, since it still had a stationer’s label on the back of it when he purchased it [notes from a conversation with Janeen Traen of the Saint Louis Art Museum, October 21, 2005, SLAM document files]. 

[3] Deed of Gift, signed October 25, 2005 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, November 29, 2005. 

Example 13

Charles Greene and Henry Greene, Hanging Lantern, from the Hallway of the Robert R. Blacker House, Pasadena, California, c.1908-9, 61:2001

Example of: 

c.1908 - 1946 
Robert R. Blacker and family, Blacker House, 1177 Hillcrest, Pasadena, CA, commissioned from Charles and Henry Greene [1] 
c.1947 - c.1950 
Mr. and Mrs. C. O. Bockelmann, Blacker House, 1177 Hillcrest, Pasadena, CA, purchased residence and furnishings [2] 
c.1950 - 1985 
Max Hill (d.1980) and Margery Hill, Blacker House, 1177 Hillcrest, Pasadena, CA, purchased residence and furnishings 
1985 -
Barton English, Stonewall, TX, and Michael Carey, NY (owned jointly), purchased residence and furnishings from Margery Hill [3] 
1995 
Geoffrey Diner Gallery (Geoffrey Diner), Washington, D.C. [4] 
1996 - 
Private Collection, San Francisco, CA, purchased from Geoffrey Diner Gallery [5] 
- 2001 
Barry Friedman, Ltd., New York, NY, purchased from private collector 
2001 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Barry Friedman, Ltd. [6] 

Notes: 
This lantern is one of a pair; the second lantern (62:2001) shares the same provenance. 

[1] Robert R. Blacker commissioned the Greenes to design the residence and furnishings, various outbuildings, and the gardens for 1177 Hillcrest in Pasadena, CA. The 5.1 acres, buildings, and furnishings remained intact until the death of Nellie Blacker, the last Blacker family member, in 1946 [Makinson, Randall L. “Greene & Greene: The Blacker House.” Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2000]. 

[2] According to Makinson (see note [1]), in 1947 the property was divided and some of the outbuildings were sold along with the smaller parcels of the property. A series of probably three owners purchased the main residence in the period between 1947 and c.1950, including C. O. Bockelmann. 

[3] The original lighting devices remained in the main residence throughout the Hills’ ownership [Giovannini, Joseph. “Controversy Over the Stripping of a Historical Pasadena House.” “New York Times.” (June 6, 1985): 21]. Barton English, a collector, and Michael Carey, an art dealer, formed a partnership to purchase the Blacker House from Margery Hill. They removed the approximately fifty original decorative lighting devices and either sold or donated them to various U.S. museums, before selling the residence in 1988 [Walters, Jonathan. “Stripped of Dignity: Historic Pasadena House to be Sold in Pieces.” “The Washington Post.” (June 6, 1985): B2; Pastier, John. “Stripping of Greene & Greene House by New Owner Protested.” “Architecture.” vol. 74 (August 1985): 116]. 

[4] The invoice from Barry Friedman, Ltd. lists provenance information and includes Washington, D.C. art dealer Geoffrey Diner and the private anonymous collector from whom Barry Friedman purchased the lanterns. Exact dates of the transactions are not noted [Barry Friedman invoice, dated May 25, 2001, SLAM document files]. It is not known from whom or when Geoffrey Diner acquired the lanterns. 

[5] See note [4]. 

[6] Invoice dated May 25, 2001 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, December 4, 2001. 

Example 14

Maori, Figurehead from a Fishing Canoe, 18th-early 19th century, 1558:1983

Example of

c.1880s - still in 1978 
A. H. W. Williams (d.1939), England; J. L. H. Williams, England, by gift or inheritance [1] 
1978/06/13 
In auction, “Important Tribal Art,” Christie’s, London, June 13, 1978, lot no. 239 [2] 
by 1980 - 1981 
HRN Primitives (Ronnie Nasser), New York, NY, USA [3] 
1981 - 1983 
Morton D. May, St. Louis, MO, acquired from HRN Primitives in exchange for two paintings [4] 
1983 - 
Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest of Morton D. May [5] 

Notes: 
[1] A. H. W. Williams was the grandson of William Williams of the Church Missionary Society. According to a 1978 auction catalog, A. H. W. Williams brought the piece from New Zealand to England in the 1880s [“Important Tribal Art.” Christie’s, London, June 13, 1978, p. 21]. J. L. H. Williams is the son of A. H. W. Williams. J. L. H. Williams offered the piece at auction in 1978, but it is unknown whether the piece sold [“Important Tribal Art,” Christie’s, London, June 13, 1978, lot no. 239, p. 21]. 

[2] See note [1]. 

[3] Ronnie Nasser, doing business as HRN Primitives, refers to the canoe prow in a letter to Morton D. May dated December 3, 1980 [SLAM document files]. 

[4] Invoice of HRN Primitives dated January 12, 1981 [SLAM document files]. 

[5] Last Will and Testament of M. D. May dated June 11, 1982 [copy, May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 20, 1983. 

Citing the “Minutes” in Narrative Provenance

Per the Chicago Manual of Style, use this formula in this order: 

“Minutes of the”

Name of the body

[comma]

Month [not abbreviated] Day [comma] Year [period] 

Example: 

Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, February 5, 1920. 
Do not add the location of the museum (St. Louis or Saint Louis) to the citation. 

Rough outline of names:
1909, March through June  Board of Control of the Saint Louis Museum of Fine Arts 
Nov 3, 1909 – March 29, 1912  Board of Control of the City Art Museum 
June 5, 1912 – April 12, 1956  Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum 
May 10, 1956 – Feb 7, 1963  Administrative Board of Control and the Advisory Committee of the City Art Museum 
March 7, 1963 – April 7, 1969  Administrative Board of Control and Associate Members of the Board of Control of the City Art Museum 
Oct 24, 1969* – Dec 1971  Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, City Art Museum 
Jan 1972 – Dec 19, 1979  Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum 
Feb 20, 1980 – Dec 1987  Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum 
Feb 26, 1988 – present  Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum 

Since 1988, if the object required the approval of the Board of Trustees, include both the Collections Committee and the Board of Trustees in the citation. See…for example.

* It appears that the gap of time between meetings on April 7 and October 24 is correct. October 24 is the first set of minutes appearing in the Acquisitions Committee Binders (red leather with plain spines).

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Date modified:
2017-10-20

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Source:
Government of Canada website at https://www.canada.ca/en/heritage-information-network/services/collections-documentation-standards/holocaust-research-art-museums-galleries.html#a6b, accessed 31 May 2018


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