Ample cases of restitution for artworks looted in Nazi Germany have been making headlines for weeks, but one of the most major cases was announced yesterday. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation will return a painting by German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, titled “Artillerymen” (1915), to the living heirs of German Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim.
The Guggenheim Foundation carried out two years of extensive research to uncover the history of the painting, cooperating with the Holocaust Claims Processing Office of New York State’s Department of Financial Services and the Flechtheim heirs’ lawyers.
A press release issued by the Guggenheim on October 4 explains:
[A]fter Flechtheim fled Germany in 1933, moving to Switzerland, Paris and finally London, Artillerymen was in the custody of his niece Rosi Hulisch (Dr. Hulton’s aunt), who remained in Nazi Germany until her death by suicide in 1942 on the eve of her deportation to a concentration camp. In 1938, the painting was acquired in Germany by Kurt Feldhäusser, a member of the Nazi party. By that time, Flechtheim’s sole designated heir, nephew Henry Alfred Hulton, was living as a refugee in London. Research also confirms that both before and after Flechtheim’s death the Nazis singled him out as a target of particularly virulent anti-Semitic propaganda.
Feldhäusser was killed in Germany in 1945 and his art collection was left to his mother, who consigned it to the Weyhe Gallery in New York in 1949. Mr. and Mrs. Morton D. May of St. Louis, Missouri purchased Artillerymen in 1952 and donated it to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York in 1956. In 1988, the painting was transferred by MoMA to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in exchange for other works. The Guggenheim relied on Donald E. Gordon’s catalogue raisonné of the work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1968), which incorrectly stated that before Artillerymen had entered Feldhäusser’s collection, the painting had been owned by German collector Hermann Lange. New research shows that the painting was owned at that time by Flechtheim and not Lange.
“An essential part of the work of the Guggenheim Foundation is the ongoing investigation into the history and provenance of our collection, and we regard this responsibility with the greatest seriousness. After an extensive examination of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this work and in keeping with the 1998 Washington Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and the guidelines of the American Association of Museum Directors, we are satisfied that it will be restituted to the Hultons,” Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said in the release.
The Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.
A landmark show of 30 artists at Jeffrey Deitch gallery in New York keeps the category of Asian figuration open-ended.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
Hall makes no attempt to entice the viewer to begin looking and to look again, letting her methodical craft compel viewers to reflect upon their experience.
In Benglis’s latest works, the forces of gravity that defined her seminal poured latex and polyurethane pieces are traded for luminous bronzes.
A new project by Columbia’s Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation explores queer histories that have been suppressed by gentrification and urban development.