Nazi Provenance

Vanitasjan 13, 14 & 15, 2015
Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the art world is still reeling from the effects of the Nazi’s looting of artworks and other cultural property. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is proud to announce the amicable resolution of a claim regarding Nazi-era looting of a painting purchased by the museum in 1962. In 2012, The Cummer received notice from the heir of noted Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker regarding a claim to a still life painting by artist Jacques de Claeuw (Dutch, active 1642 – 1676). After extensive research, both parties are pleased to announce a settlement in the case, which will result in the painting, Vanitas, remaining in Jacksonville.

In May 1940, Goudstikker, one of the foremost Old Master paintings dealers in the Netherlands, fled with his family by sea in advance of the German invasion. Tragically, Goudstikker died in an accident on board ship, but his family reached safety, maintaining possession of an inventory log that noted most of the nearly 1,400 artworks he had left behind. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, a leading member of the Nazi party, looted the Goudstikker gallery holdings within weeks of the family fleeing. Extensive documentation exists tracing de Claeuw’s Vanitas from Goudstikker’s gallery, through Göring, to a sale at Lempertz Auktion in Cologne in 1941. However, there is no clear indication of what happened to the painting following the unsuccessful sale at Lempertz until it was purchased by The Cummer Museum from a New York gallery in 1962. The painting has been on near continuous display since that time, and was voted by Cummer visitors one of their “50 Favorites” in the permanent collection in 2011, during the museum’s 50th anniversary.

Join Cummer Museum Chief Curator Holly Keris for an in-depth look at Nazi art looting and its impacts in Jacksonville.

Tuesday lecture, Jan.13, at 7 p.m. (free). Talks & Tea, Wed., Jan. 14 & Thurs., Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. (admission $6). The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Avenue, 899-6034.

Author: Arbus

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