Feb 2, 2021

Lies Provenance Researchers Told


This post aims to collect, little by little, published provenances that have been proven to be false, and, where possible, to specify their authors and publishers.

Why try to identify lies in provenances?

Lying about the fate of artworks owned by Jewish collectors who were persecuted by the Nazis inserts false information into the historical record of the Holocaust. 

For a provenance researcher to do this deliberately is, in my opinion, a grave act of immorality which facilitates Holocaust denial. 

For a provenance researcher to do this "accidentally" is evidence of incompetence, which should be sanctioned and not rewarded by employers and funders.

Readers are invited to add examples of published false provenances in the comments.


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False Provenances Concerning Ownership during the Nazi Era by Artist (to Research and Confirm)


Gustav Klimt



Edgar Degas



Marc Chagall


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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

- Provenance errors by Nazi art collector Kurt Feldhäusser and the Museum of Modern Art in New York ("location mixup")

(why did MoMA’s version carry yet another title, “Sand Hills in Engadine”?...MoMA realized Mr. Feldhäusser had mistaken the hills for ones on an island near Denmark while the museum had mistaken them for hills in Switzerland. -WSJ)

for more examples of Jewish owned art passing under the Nazis through Ferdinand Möller Galerie, Berlin ==> Kurt Feldhäuser, Berlin ==> museums see Fischer, Max lostart.de

urls


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Paul Gauguin

Faaturuma (Melancholic)



"The Wildenstein catalogue raisonné of 1964 tentatively suggests that a certain “Dr. Hahnloser, Zurich” owned Faaturuma between Vollard and Wolfensberger. The best-known collectors fitting this description are Arthur Hahnloser (1870-1936) and his brother Emil Hahnloser (1874-1940). However, neither began collecting works by Gauguin until after World War I. As Lukas Gloor notes, “an acquisition by Arthur Hahnloser of Faaturumain 1912 would…have been totally out of sync with Arthur’s collecting behaviour at that time” and “an acquisition by Emil Hahnloser of Faaturuma in 1912 would have been a totally isolated affair”; see e-mail from Lukas Gloor, Director, Sammlung E. G. Bührle, to Brigid Boyle, July 23, 2015, NAMA curatorial files. 

[5] The Wildenstein catalogue raisonné of 1964 claims that Justin K. Thannhauser owned Faaturuma between Wolfensberger and Stransky, but there is no documentary evidence to support this." - (source: Nelson-Atkins museum online provenance text (December 2017))


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George Grosz


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"Le Repos Dans Le Jardin Argenteuil" (Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil)

Claude Monet



Amedeo Modigliani

Pablo Picasso

Thomas Couture

Édouard Vuillard

François Boucher

El Greco

Egon Schiele

André Derain



Paul Klee



Jan van Goyen 



Cranach

Renoir

Sisley

Camille Pissarro

Georges Braque

Wassily Kandinsky

Henri Matisse

Gustave Courbet

Gerard T. Borch

Albert Gleizes

Frans Hals

Macchiaioli

Corneille de Lyon

Lucien Adrion

Bernardo Bellotto

Carl Blechen

Van Gogh

Lovis Corinth

Carl Spitzweg

Mondrian

Giambattista Tiepolo

Cornelis Troost

Jean-Louis Forain

Constantin Guys

Adolph von Menzel

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

Émile Vernet-Lecomte

(update ongoing...)


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images


Gustav Klimt Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) by  (Former owner, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Adele_Bloch-Bauer_I

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El Greco “Portrait of a Gentleman”  Seized by Nazis Returns to Owner’s Family in Artsbeat NYT. (Former owner, Julius Priester)

https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/an-el-greco-seized-by-nazis-returns-to-owners-family/

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Edgar Degas “Landscape with Smokestacks” (1890) Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle

https://plone.unige.ch/art-adr/cases-affaires/landscape-with-smokestacks-2013-friedrich-gutmann-heirs-and-daniel-searle#!prettyPhoto[pp_gal]/0/

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1917-18 painting ‘Sand Hills in Engadine aka ‘Sand Hills (By Grünau)’ Museum of Modern Art Returns Painting to Heirs of Man Who Fled Nazis, WSJ (Former owner, Max Fischer

https://archive.is/zuHqA

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Claude Monet "Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil" (Le Repos Dans Le Jardin Argenteuil) , Settlement Reached on Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil (Former owner, Maria Newman, widow of Henry P. Newman)

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Paul Klee “Swamp Legend,” from 1919 After 26 Years, Munich Settles Case Over a Klee Looted by the Nazis in NYT (Former owner, Ms. Lissitzky-Küppers)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/arts/design/after-26-years-munich-settles-case-over-a-klee-looted-by-nazis.html

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Jan van Goyen (1595 – 1656), River Landscape with a SwineherdA Goudstikker van Goyen in Gdańsk: A Case Study of Nazi-Looted Art in Poland (Former owner, Jacques Goustikker)

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-cultural-property/article/goudstikker-van-goyen-in-gdansk-a-case-study-of-nazilooted-art-in-poland/475F94269B2C9EC44ECD58FE08608D5B/share/2e8a428ee0482f496f214c8c3fe826f32c26bb62#

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See also:

By DOREEN CARVAJAL and ALISON SMALE, JULY 15, 2016, NYT



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