Jun 9, 2021

Data Visualization Test

How to grasp the scale of the transfer from Jewish art collectors persecuted by the Nazi to museums in the United States, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, as well as countries in South America?

Some experiments in data visualization.

First, an overview (attention: the figures are not real, they are only to test the visualization.)

The Nazis looted so much. Destroyed so many lives. How to represent this in a way that is understandable, meaningful - and actionable?

The devil is in the detail. 

We could focus on one individual collector, and compare his fate (start place, end place) to the fate of each of the artworks in his (or her) collection (start place 1, end place 1; start place2, end place 2).

Or focus on a single artist  - like Waldmüller, Van Gogh or Schiele - whose artworks are known to have been massively looted, and track down all the owners and what happened to them (start place, end place) as well as to each of the artworks....

Or focus on a single event that brought together the Jewish collectors and the artworks that would soon be looted.

Or focus on the influx of European art "shaken loose by the Nazis" into the beneficiary institutions.

No matter which option we explore next, however, we are going to need addresses. Of the Jewish Collectors. Of the Nazi collecting places. Of the Allied collecting places. Of the auction houses where the looted art was sold. Of the museums and private collections where the looted art ended up. 

Once we have a catalogue of geocoded addresses,  instead of aggregating on countries of origin and destination, we can break it down into persecuted Jewish collectors (with their location in 1933) and the receiver of the artwork (in the city or even exact coordinates)

Experiment number 2:  Specific artworks, from persecuted Jewish collector to museum

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