May 30, 2024

Erasing Jewish collectors' names from Nazi looted art: Alfred Weinberger

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 In 2009, Sotheby's put up for sale this Renoir entitled DEUX FEMMES DANS UN JARDIN with the following provenance.


Soutro Gallery, London
Sale: Christie's, London, June 24, 1997, lot 284
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 3, 2005, lot 114)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

No mention of Alfred Weinberger, who had owned the Renoir until a Nazi looting organization seized it in Paris on December 4, 1941.

The above is one of the most typical provenance types that conceals Nazi-looted art. 

Alfred Weinberger died in 1977 without ever again seeing the Renoir, which bounced around from Paris to Johannesburg, to London and (of course) to Zurich and New York.

It wasn't until decades later, in 2018, and thanks to work by many different people, including lawyers and the FBI, that the Renoir looted from Alfred Weinberger was restituted to his family and his name restored to its place in the provenance.


Nazis stole a Jewish man’s Renoir painting in 1941. Now it’s been returned to his only living heir.

(Washington Post, September 13, 2018, by Meagan Flynn) gift article:


After the restitution, the painting was sold at Christie's with the following provenance:

Estate of the artist. 
Galerie Renou et Poyet, Paris (acquired from the above). 
Alfred Weinberger, Paris (acquired from the above, 1925); confiscated by the Devisenschutzkommando, 8 September 1941. 
Transferred to the Einsatzstabreichsleiter Rosenberg (Wbg 120), 4 December 1941 and sent to the Jeu de Paume 10 September 1942. 
Soutro Gallery, London. 
Anon. sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet South Africa (Pty) Ltd., Johannesburg, 4 March 1975, lot 21. 
Anon. sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London, 7 December 1977, lot 22. 
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 24 June 1997, lot 284. 
Private collection; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 3 November 2005, lot 114. 
Park West Gallery, Southfield, Michigan (acquired at the above sale). 
Private collection, South Carolina (acquired from the above). 
Restituted to the heir of Alfred Weinberger, September 2018.

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