Below is a list of web, printed resources and provenance research dealing with the topic of art restitution to Holocaust victims and their heirs.
- A Paris exhibit of Nazi-looted art honors a Europe many fear is under threat again, James McAuley, Washington Post, February 28, 2017
On Thursday, Anne Sinclair, the prominent French journalist and granddaughter of legendary Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg, will open an exhibition at Paris’s Musée Maillol of 66 paintings that once passed through her grandfather’s gallery before his collection was targeted by the Nazis. “But in the Europe of 2017, as nationalist parties soar in popularity — including in France — Sinclair, now 68, sees the exposition as a warning of what that type of regime can do when put in power,” reports James McAuley. “For the first time, I understood what my grandparents and my parents used to say about the 1930s,” she said. “This is not to say we live in the same kind of moment. It’s different. But I feel I am also facing a world that all of a sudden seems totally foreign — and a world that disdains culture.”
- Abandoned Bill Signed into Law: Written by Frank Lord and Yael Weitz (Art & Advocacy (a Herrick Feinstein Newsletter), Winter 2009)
- Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War
- An Amicable End to a Nazi-era Spoliation Claim, Illicit Cultural Property, April 11, 2011
- Archive Dispute Derails Art Loans From Russia New York Times, February 2, 2011
- Art & Advocacy The Art Newsletter of Herrick, Feinstein LLP
- Spring-Summer 2013, Vol. 15
- Fall 2011, Vol. 10
- Spring/Summer 2011, Vol. 09
- Winter 2010, Vol. 5: Holocaust Art Restitution Litigation in 2009
- Art in the Crossfire: A Jewish Sect’s Claims Have Led to a U.S.-Russia Embargo by Laura Gilbert, New York Observer, August 16, 2011
- Art Restitution in Hungary:A Comparative Case Study of the Sarospatak Books and the Herzog Collection, by Jennifer Mohr Otterson (Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs), June 3, 2011
- Article: Austria Urges Return of Altar Panels to Jewish Heir
- Cézanne Portrait seized by Russian Bolsheviks belongs to the Met
- Canadian government funds research on Holocaust-era art, The Art Newspaper, April 29, 2013
Canada has begun its term as the leader of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance — a coalition of 31 countries — by launching a $190,000 initiative to research the provenance of Holocaust-era artworks at six of its major museums, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the latter of which just returned a painting by the 17th-century Dutch artist Gerrit van Honthorst to the heir of Hamburgian Jewish collector Bruno Spiro last week. "With the support of the Government of Canada, directors of Canadian art museums and galleries will develop their professional expertise and contribute to the international call for transparency, justice and closure, in one of the most sordid chapters of 20th-century history," said Canadian Art Museum Directors Association president Josephine Mills.
- Canada under pressure over potential Nazi loot, April 2013
In the current issue of The Art Newspaper, David D’Arcy reviews the efforts of the Max Stern Estate to search Europe and the U.S. for paintings that belonged to the German-born Jewish art dealer, who fled Germany in 1937 after the Nazis shut down his Dusseldorf gallery and forced him to see his stock. Now, as Canada leads a committee commemorating Nazi victims, collections in the country could face new scrutiny over potential Nazi-era loot. Many believe that Canada is lagging behind America when it comes to Holocaust restitution. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts currently has The Deification of Aeneas, 1642, by Charles Le Brun, which once belonged to the Dutch dealer Jacques Goudstikker. Says Larry Kaye, “We contacted the museum almost a decade ago and have been seeking the return of the painting ever since.”
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- The hunt is now on for Nazi-looted art in Canada, James Adams, The Globe and Mail, February 09, 2014
James Adams reviews the steps Canada has taken to address questions of Nazi-looted art in its public institutions after last week’s announcement that six Canadian museums will participate in a federally funded provenance project. Adams explains tha...
- Charting a New Course, by William D. Cohan September 06, 2012, www.artnews.com
- Claim by Museums of Public Trusteeship and their Response to Restitution Claims: A Self-Serving Attempt to Keep Holocaust-Looted Art, By Charles A. Goldstein and Yael Weitz
- Cleveland Museum of Art settles claim over Johann Liss drawing said to have been taken by Nazis from Feldmann collection, Steven Litt, May 26, 2013
- Contextual Analysis, Marc J. Masurovsky, October 11, 2013
- Court Hearing Coming Over a Baroque Painting Looted by Nazis, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2011
- Dealing with Jewish Cultural Property in Post-War Poland by Nawojka Cieslinska-Lobkowicz, June 2009
- Department Of Financial Services Announces Return Of 17th Century Painting From France To Heir Of Victim Of Nazi Persecution, May 5, 2015
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, announced at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage this morning that a 17th Century painting that had been lost as a result of Nazi persecution is being returned to the heir of its rightful owner. The painting, Portrait of a Man, which had been held at the Louvre in Paris, was recovered with the assistance of the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO) and returned with the cooperation of the French government. Lawsky also announced that DFS has launched a new virtual gallery and database of artwork that has been reported to the HCPO as lost between 1933 and 1945 due to Nazi persecution, which will help assist the HCPO’s efforts to recover such artwork and serve as an educational resource.
- Despite Pledge, France Lags in Hunt for Looted Art, By DOREEN CARVAJAL and PATRICIA COHEN, The New York Times, August 28, 2013, A new promise by the French government to press for art seized by the Nazis in World War II to be returned to their owners has so far gone unfulfilled.
- Family’s Claim Against MoMA Hinges on Dates, By Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, August 23, 2011
- Federal Agents Seize Painting Plundered By Nazis from Public Display in Tallahassee, Sunshine State News, November 5, 2011
- Goudstikker Exhibition at the Jewish Museum: Article written by Frank Lord, Art & Advocacy (a Herrick Feinstein Newsletter, Vol. I, Winter 2009)
- Happy Ending for looted Courbet painting in Paris exhibit, The Associated Press, Oct 12, 2007
- Claim by Museums of Public Trusteeship and their Response to Restitution Claims: A Self-Serving Attempt to Keep Holocaust-Looted Art, Art Antiquity and Law Journal 2011, by: Charles A. Goldstein, Yael M. Weitz
- New Weapons and New Targets: Criminal Sanctions and Redress Against Museum Workers under US Law Taking it Personally, The Individual Liability of Museum Personnel 2011, by Yael M. Weitz
- Outline of Legal Principles Governing Holocaust-Looted Art Cases(Including a List of Leading Cases and Other Resources for Reference), Howard N. Spiegler, September 2011
- Panel Discussion on Nazi Era Art Restitution, October 28, 2012, Tel Aviv, Israel
- The Particular Position of the Museum Director, Curator and Registrar in Holocaust-Related Claims Taking it Personally, The Individual Liability of Museum Personnel, 2011, by Charles A. Goldstein, Yael M. Weitz
- Holocaust-Looted Art: AN OVERVIEW, by Charles A. Goldstein: Cosmos Club, December 15, 2014
- Institute of Art and Law
- Too Little, Too Late. Dunbar v. Seger-Thomschitz and the Ongoing Challenge Posed by Prescriptive Periods in Holocaust-Era Art and Cultural Property Restitution Matters, by Jhiela C. Mirdamadi, May 2012
- International Comity‘s Threat to the Restitution of Stolen Holocaust Art: The Cautionary Tale of the Herzog Litigation by Hanna Lundqvist
- Konstantin Akinsha, “The Mysterious Journey of an Erotic Masterpiece,” ARTnews (Feb 2008)
- Lauder calls to accelerate restitution by Sam Sokol, The Jerusalem Post, October 9, 2013
- Lauder Editorial on Stolen Art and Museums Fails the Glass House Test, by Nicholas O'Donnell, Art Law report, June 30, 2014
- Limbach Commission Report, 2015
- Lucian Simmons, Christie’s, USHMM Speech – September 2011
- MOMA’s Problematic Provenances, William D. Cohan, ARTnews, November 17, 2011. Behind a lawsuit brought against the Museum of Modern Art by the heirs of George Grosz lies a troubling history of acquiring works seized by the Nazis and sold to support the German war effort
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Short-Form Diligence Questionnaire
- Museums Aim to Probe Nazi Art Seizures, The Local, January 26, 2011
- Museums Faulted on Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art, by Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, June 30, 2013
- Museums hunt for Jewish dealer’s art, Julia Michalska, The Art Newspaper, September 25, 2013
Fifteen German museums are working together to produce a major online exhibition and database in order to research the history of Jewish art dealer and collector Alfred Flechtheim. Approximately 300 works with the Flechtheim provenance will be shown alongside photographs, letters and documents. The organizers hope that the website will serve as a catalyst to find pieces that remain missing since Flechtheim’s persecution by the Nazis in the 1930s.
- Nations Called Lax in Returning Art Looted From Jews. , Graham Bowley, The New York Times, September 10, 2014
“Law Efforts on Wartime Looted Art Criticized in New Report” Graham Bowley writes about a report published today by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the World Jewish Restitution Organization which measured the conduct of nearly 50 countries that endorsed the Washington Principles and the Terezin Declaration. In the report, several countries were cited for lackluster efforts to research or identify items that may have been looted from Jews during WWII, including Italy, Hungary, Poland, Argentina, Spain and Russia.
- Nazi Era Art Claims – A comparison: Art commissions versus Litigation
- Nazi Looted Art Commissions After the 1998 Washington Conference: Comparing the European and American Experiences
- Nazi looted Matisse work returned by Norwegian gallery , BBC News, March 21, 2014
Norwegian museum Henie Onstad Art Centre (HOK) has agreed to return Matisse’s Woman in a Blue Dress in Front of a Fireplace to the family of Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg. The painting has been on display at HOK since 1968, and is worth an estimated $20 million. It was one of the 162 works taken from Rosenberg’s collection in 1941 by the special Nazi looting agency ERR and was later acquired by Gustav Rochlitz. In 1950, a Paris gallery unaware of its provenance sold it to shipping magnate Niels Onstad. The gallery said that although it acquired the painting in good faith, it had “chosen to adhere to international conventions and return the painting.”
More from NYT here and Courthouse News Service here.
- Nazi-looted art and the market by: Daniella Luxembourg (Art Newspaper, December 2008)
- Nazi-Looted Art Restitution, Jacksonville museum pieces actually Nazi loot; owner to get them back - September 25, 2012
- New EU Directive for Return of Stolen Art Excludes Most Nazi Loot, artnet News , May 5, 2014
The European Council has approved a measure designed to ease EU member states’ ability to repatriate stolen artworks and objects of cultural heritage from fellow EU members. The directive creates a new online database, the Internal Market Information System (IMI), for repatriation claims between governmental authorities. It also shifts the burden of proof away from the claimant and onto the current possessor of the artwork or artifact and expands the timeframe in which an initial repatriation claim must be made. While the move may initially appear to be a watershed moment for the return of Nazi looted art, the fine print proves otherwise. This new directive only applies to works that were illegally moved from one EU member state to another since the pan-European body was formalized in 1993.
- NGV to return painting to heirs of owner threatened by Nazis, Debbie Cuthbertson, The Sunday Morning herald, May 29, 2014
The National Gallery of Victoria has agreed to hand over a painting it has held for almost 75 years - and which, for much of that time, was thought to have been by Vincent van Gogh - to the legal heirs of its former owner, a Jewish man who sold the work under duress from Germany's Nazi regime. NGV director Tony Ellwood said the gallery had written to Olaf Ossmann - the Zurich-based lawyer for two South African women deemed to be the legal heirs of Richard Semmel, a Jewish industrialist who auctioned the painting at a reduced price in Amsterdam in 1933 after fleeing Berlin - notifying him that it had been removed from public display. It is believed to be the first case of its kind in Australia involving the restitution of an item from a forced sale in Nazi Germany.
- Paper: The Particular Position of the Museum Director, Curator and Registrar in Holocaust-Related Claims, by Charles A. Goldstein and Yael Weitz, September 2010
- Press Statement: Holocaust-Era Looted Art, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, January 16, 2013
- Publication: Cultural Heritage & Arts Review, Vol I, Issue 2, The American Society of International Law ("ASIL")
- Reclaiming Lost Treasures, by Konstantin Akinsha, Art News, June 2012
- Recovering Looted Jewish Cultural Property, Constance Lowenthal. The Permanent Court of Arbitration/Peace Palace Papers 2004
- Report of the Association of Art Museum Directors Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era
- Report to the Public on the Work of the CIVS 2011
- Restituting Nazi-Looted Art: Domestic, Legislative, and Binding Intervention to Balance the Interests of Victims and Museums, 15 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 673., Katherine N. Skinner
The Nazis engaged in widespread art looting from Holocaust victims, either taking the artwork outright or using legal formalities to effect a transfer of title under duress. Years later, US museums acquired some of these pieces on a good-faith basis. Now, however, they face lawsuits by the heirs of Holocaust victims, who seek to have the museums return the artwork. Though good title cannot pass to the owner of stolen property under US law, unfavorable statutes of limitations, high financial hurdles, or discovery problems, among other obstacles, bar many of these claimants from seeking recovery. Though some museums have amicably settled with claimants, museums’ otherwise resistant responses are not surprising, considering the “cultural internationalist” attitude they adopt toward restitution in general. US federal action to resolve the issue of Nazi-art restitution has been aspirational rather than practical, and courts are not ideally suited to handle the difficult policy implications present on a one-off basis. Additionally, museums have not been faithful to their self-imposed ethical guidelines, which promote full out-of-court cooperation with claimants seeking restitution for Nazi-looted art. Therefore, this Note proposes that Congress step in to create a binding, uniform, domestic body to hear and resolve Nazi-art restitution claims brought against museums. Such a forum would eliminate many of the initial obstacles claimants face, and with its narrowly tailored application it would prevent museums from becoming more vulnerable to restitution claims in other contexts. Finally, with a sunset provision followed by a presumption against restitution, such legislation would provide museums a respite from facing these claims eternally.
- Restitution Experience Since The Washington Conference (1998), AN OVERVIEW, By Charles A. Goldstein, Esq.
- Restitution of Cultural Objects Taken During World War II (Part I), The National Law Review, March 19, 2015
Some of the most important developments in the restitution of cultural objects and other assets confiscated in the period surrounding World War II have occurred only within the last decade or so. The cultural objects that the Allied forces recovered were returned to the countries from whose citizens or museums they had been taken (in a process known as “external restitution” for those countries to then return to their owners (“internal restitution”). There are still challenges of Nazi-Era Restitution; a suit was recently filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia highlights a number of these challenges. In that case, three Jewish art dealers are seeking return of the Guelph Treasure.
- Restitution of Cultural Objects Taken During World War II (Part II), The National Law Review, March 20, 2015
Museums’ Use of Technical Defenses: Von Saher and Beyond: a detailed history of the Von Saher claim against the Norton Simon; there is also a discussion about objects held by foreign museums (The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and foreign sovereign-owned property in the US and outside the US).
- Return of Looted Portrait, by Carol Vogel New York Times, January 13, 2011
- Rome Plans to open Italy's first-ever Holocaust Museum Within Ten Years, World Jewish Congress, February 23, 2011
- Russia, the U.S. and Art as a Diplomatic Weapon, New York Times, February 13, 2011 - Letter to the Editor from Charles A. Goldstein
- Russian Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR as a Result of the Second World War and Located on the Territory of the Russian Federation
- Spain and the Looting of European Art Collections During World War II, Miguel Martorell Linares (Professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology. UNED.), Madrid, December 23, 1998
- Spain and the Looting of European Art Collections During World War II (English translation), Miguel Martorell Linares (Professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology. UNED.), Madrid, December 23, 1998
- Swiss Want Clearer Picture of Looted Nazi Art, SwissInfo.ch, January 20, 2011
- Taking it Personally: The Individual Liability of Museum Personnel (A Collection of Essays) by Professor Norman Palmer and Ruth Redmond Cooper, Published by Institute of Art an Law (London)
- The Art of War, by Hannah Rothschild, Harpers Bazaar, November 2013
Between 1945 and 1951 the Allied Monuments Men and Women, a group of about 345 historians and curators, managed to identify and return more than five million cultural objects stolen by the Nazis. Hannah Rothschild reports, however, that the story of Nazi plunder is far from over, with many thousands of Nazi-looted artworks still in circulation. Sixty years on, contemporary versions of the Monuments Men and Women are still working to right the wrongs of history and track down the treasured heirlooms, but they often meet resistance from those who have them in their possession. George Clooney, who wrote and stars in a forthcoming film, is emphatic that "This is really simple. The paintings were legitimately bought and paid for - they should be returned." See attached PDF
- The Mauerbach Scandal: An exhibition in Vienna brings to light new evidence of Austria’s reluctance to return art looted by the Nazis, Written by: Konstantin Akinsha (ARTnews Magazine, February 2009)
- Tragic Artifacts by Randy Cohen, The Ethicist, New York Times, January 14, 2011.
- Translation of an article entitled "The Shame of the Mauerbach Auction" from Der Standard, dated November 30, 2008
- Vienna Philharmonic Finds Owners of a Nazi Gift, By James R. Oestreich and Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, April 11, 2014
- Vienna's philharmonic to return stolen Nazi art, RTE News, April 12, 2014
- Whose Art Is It Anyway?: Written by Mari-Claudia Jimenez (Art & Advocacy (a Herrick Feinstein Newsletter), Winter 2009)
- American Association of Museums Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era
- The American Society of International Law
- Guarding the Historical Record from the Nazi-Era Art Litigation Tumbling Toward the Supreme Court, by Jennifer Anglim Kreder
- State Law Holocaust-Era Art Claims and Federal Executive Power, by Jennifer Anglim Kreder, 2011
- Art Claim
- The Art Loss Register
- Art Recovery International
- ARR - Art Restitution & Recovery
- CIVS Activity reports (1999-2009) of the Commission for Compensation of Victims of Spoliations resulting from the anti-semitic legislation in force during the Occupation in France presented to the Prime Minister.
- The Claims Conference (The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany)
- Commission For Looted Art in Europe
- Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume Launched October 18, 2010
- Press Release
- Additional Background
- Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) blog on plundered art
- Dispersed Nazi Records of Art Looting Located and Documented in New Survey Sponsored by the Claims Conference, Aiding Restitution Efforts by Providing Art World and Claimants with Access to Original Files, April 28, 2011
- European Journal of International Law
- Expert Group "Mobility of Collections" Subgroup "Immunity from Seizure" Report, June 2010 (latest study on immunity from seizure legislation in the EU)
- Foundation for Jewish Culture: Council of American Jewish Museums
- Herkomst gezocht
- An updated version of the Art Law Group’s Resolved Stolen Art Claims chart can now be accessed on the Herrick webpage.
- Holocaust Claims Processing Office, State of New York Banking Department
- Holocaust-Era Assets: A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
- Institute of Art and Law
- IFAR - International Foundation for Art Research
- HERZOG HEIRS CAN PROCEED WITH U.S. ACTION TO RECOVER ALL BUT 11 ARTWORKS: IFAR Journal, Vol. 12, no. 4, 2011
- The Jewish Museum - Special Exhibition - Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker
- Looted Art Internet Database - Magdeburg, Germany
- New York Bar Association Art Committee Internet Resources
- Origins Unknown
- Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US
- Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets - The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets: Seventy years after the Holocaust of the Jewish Nation, The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets was established with the goal of doing historical justice with the victims and reinstating the assets of Holocaust victims located in Israel to their rightful beneficiaries.
- Suit over Norton Simon artwork enters a final phase An art dealer's daughter-in-law appeals to the 9th Circuit to lay claim to the diptych 'Adam and Eve' at the Pasadena museum. It was stolen by Goering in World War II. May 02, 2012, By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
- United States Department of State
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- United States – National Archives and Records Administration.
- Washington Conference Principles On Nazi-Confiscated Art