Nazi-Era Provenance Research Project

In October of 2000, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States (PCHA) agreed upon a standard procedure for presenting provenance information on Nazi-era objects to the public.

In compliance with the AAM criteria, the Jewish Museum is researching the provenance, or history of ownership for paintings and Judaica that fall within the following criteria:

  • Acquired after 1932
  • Created before 1946
  • Which may have changed hands between 1932–1946
  • Which may have been in continental Europe during those years

This site will be updated in installments as new information is discovered and documentation and images are digitized. Currently, the information presented on this website includes paintings and Judaica with gaps in provenance as well as paintings and Judaica with complete provenance. As always, the Museum’s archival collection records are open to serious researchers by appointment. For any information or queries about this Provenance Research Project list, please see Contact Information.

We hope that this material will be helpful in the identification and restitution of works of art that may have been misappropriated during the Nazi era. The Museum also welcomes any provenance related information that the users of this site may be able to provide.

U.S. Resources

American Alliance of Museums

www.aam-us.org

Published AAM's Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era, issued November 1999, and amended April 2001.

Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the U.S.

pcha.ushmm.org/aboutpcha.htm

The PCHA, established by the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 is charged with conducting original research into the fate of assets taken from victims of the Holocaust that came into the possession of the U.S. Federal government.

The Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal

www.nepip.org

List of participating museums, including the Jewish Museum, New York.

National Archives and Records Administration

International Research Portal: www.archives.gov

A collaboration of national and other archival institutions with records that pertain to Nazi-era cultural property. The portal links researchers to archival materials consisting of descriptions of records and, in many cases, digital images of the records that relate to cultural property that was stolen, looted, seized, forcibly sold, or otherwise lost during the Nazi era.

Holocaust Era Related Resources, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Provenance Index Databases: www.getty.edu

United States Holocaust Museum Library

www.ushmm.org

The Art Loss Register

www.artloss.com

Maintains an active database of more than 250,000 objects, mediates restitution cases, and actively investigates claims.

International Foundation of Art Research

www.ifar.org

IFAR is a not-for-profit educational and research organization that offers impartial and authoritative information on authenticity, ownership, theft, and other artistic, legal, and ethical issues concerning art objects.

European Resources

Lost Art Internet Database

www.lostart.de

A joint project by the Federal Government of Germany and the federal states of Germany, the Lost Art Internet Database facilitates the registration of cultural assets that were relocated, transported, or confiscated as a result of persecution during World War II and the Nazi period, and which lists more than 2,200 looted artworks.

Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume

www.errproject.org

This database brings together the remaining registration cards and photographs produced by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) covering more than 20,000 art objects taken from Jews in German-occupied France and, to a lesser extent, in Belgium.

Catalogue des MNR

Musées Nationaux Récupération

www.culture.gouv.fr

Searchable index of over 2,000 works stolen from victims of the Holocaust, and in the custodianship of the national museums of France since 1949.

Centre Pompidou

www.centrepompidou.fr

Exhibition of works restituted to the French government after WWII and now in the custodianship of the Musée national d'art moderne/Cci MNR (Musées Nationaux Récupération) shown at the Centre Georges Pompidou, April 9 – 21, 1997.

The National Archive, United Kingdom

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Federal Archives, Berlin – Bundesarchiv

www.bundesarchiv.de/index.html.en

Ukrainian National Archives (TsDAVO)

tsdavo.org.ua

Related Exhibitions

The Jewish Museum, New York

Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker

March 15, 2009 – August 02, 2009

This exhibition presents rarely-seen Old Master paintings collected by Jacques Goudstikker, a prominent Jewish art dealer in Amsterdam prior to World War II. In 1940, Goudstikker was forced to flee war-torn Europe. His gallery, which contained approximately 1,400 works of art, was looted by the Nazis. Recently his family reclaimed 200 paintings from the Dutch government; the finest of these works will be on view in this exhibition.

Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam

Looted, but from whom?

November 30, 2006 – February 25, 2007

Looted, but from whom? is an exhibition about art objects which were either acquired by forced sale or stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis during the Second World War. The fifty art objects on display in the Looted, but from whom? exhibition were chosen to illustrate the efforts of the Origins Unknown Agency.

Online Resource Directory

Methodology

As the works are identified, they are physically examined for markings that would be helpful in determining provenance. The documentation of these works are verified using the following methods:

Artist / Maker

When no signature appears on the work, primary resources are used to identify the maker. If a definitive answer is unavailable the artist/maker is referred to as "Unknown."

Title

Primary titles and known original language or alternate titles are listed.

Execution Date

Whenever possible, the execution date of the painting is taken directly from the physical work. If the date does not appear in the artist's hand on the work, the artist's life dates along with an examination of his body of work are used to determine an approximate date. An execution date determined in this manner will appear in parentheses. Example: (1946)

Medium

Physical examination determined this criteria.

Dimensions

Dimensions listed on this web-site refer to unframed measurements posted as height followed by width.

Signature, Hallmarks, Inscriptions, Markings, Labels

Notes referring to signatures, hallmarks, inscriptions, markings, and labels are prefaced by the location such as, BR (bottom right) and followed by the implement used to create the mark.

Provence

Many of the works in the collection were acquired directly from descendants of the artists or have been passed down through multiple generations of one family. It is important to keep in mind that a gap in provenance does not necessarily mean a work was looted or stolen.

How to Read Provenance Information

Owners are listed in chronological order with the earliest known owner first. The owner's name is followed by their place of residence and the date(s) of ownership are enclosed in parentheses. Example: John Doe, New York, N.Y. (1930-d.1970)

Possible owners are prefaced by a question mark. Imprecise information is enclosed in brackets. Direct transfers between owners is noted with a semi-colon. If a direct transfer did not occur or the type of transfer is unknown, the owners are separated by a period. The object's accession number follows the provenance information. These numbers appear in two formats. The acquisition year precedes the number representing the order in which the object was accessioned in a given year, for example 1988-107. This object would be the 107th accessioned in the year 1988.

A second format begins with the initials "JM." The initials precede a number representing the order in which the object was accessioned in a given year and is followed by the last two digits of the year of accessioning separated by a hyphen. For example: JM 20-51 would be the 20th object accessioned in the year 1951.

This list of works is sorted alphabetically by the artist's last name. Currently, this is a partial list of works. Additional works will be posted, in installments, as our research continues.

Questions & More information

If you have any questions or information to provide on the listed works, please contact: provenance@thejm.org

Collections Manager
Provenance Research Project
The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Nazi-Era Provenance List of Works