Showing posts with label Archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archives. Show all posts

Aug 5, 2022

Jul 15, 2021

Cultural property at the Oberfinanzdirektion München Bundesarchiv: archives



In attempting to verify one of the names that appears in a provenance with an extremely high Uncertainty Index (Bottenwieser), we stumbled upon an archive file (xml) in German that contains the names of many plundered Jewish collectors (and other people as well).  

Are there names here that should be plugged into the Looted Art Detector? 

Below is a Google translation of the first few paragraphs of the German text followed by the text itself. 


Fiduciary management of cultural property at the Oberfinanzdirektion München Bundesarchiv 2010 

May 17, 2021

Buried for more than half a century

Altaussee Salt/Art Mine discovery after WW II
Lieutenants Kern & Sieber, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What must it have been like for Samson Lane Faison, Jr., James S. Plaut, Theodore Rousseau, Jr. and Jean Vlug to watch their reports on Nazi art looting and art dealer networks be buried and lost?

The ALIU reports contained names, dates, places, specific events, artworks - crucial information for tracking down looted art. 

All classified. Hidden away. Inaccessible. Unknown. Unexplored.

What lesson could these museum men possibly have learned from Washington's treatment of their historic work?

When, in 2001, the reports were to be published on microfiche, Dr. Greg Bradsher contacted S. Lane Faison, to tell him the news that their work would finally be public and to ask permission to give Faison's phone number to journalists who might want to know more. Bradsher described the conversation in a blog post for the National Archives:

On April 23, 2001, I phoned Professor Faison and told him the National Archives was issuing the next day a press release announcing the release of Microfilm Publication M-1782, “OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-46.”  I told him the microfilmed records—including the detailed, consolidated, and final reports—were being made available on May 8, the 56th anniversary of the U.S. Army’s discovery of the salt mine at Alt Aussee, Austria, where the greatest concentration of Nazi plunder from Western Europe was concealed.  I asked him if he minded me making his phone number available if I received press inquiries about the records and the work of the ALIU.  He said at his age it was tough enough to get up to change the television channel, much less answer the phone regarding things he had done ages ago and which were well-documented in the records we were making available. So, yes, he did mind.

-  "An Office of Strategic Services Monuments Man: S. Lane Faison"

 This is the seventh in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men. Today’s post is by Dr. Greg Bradsher. See related posts on Sir Charles Leonard WoolleyWalter J. HuchthausenSeymour J. PomrenzeMason HammondEdith Standen, and Karol Estreicher. 

Oct 31, 2019

ARTNews articles listed in the Looted Art Bibliography

The Looted Art Bibliography lists 398 references to newspaper articles, journals, books and monographs about looted art. However, many of these seem to be difficult to find online today, even for major publications like Artnews.*

Where, for example, can one find, access and read the following articles written by Konstantin Akinsha and published in ArtNews?

10Akinsha, KonstantinRussia: whose art is it?ARTnews 91, no5(May 1992): 100+
4Akinsha, KonstantinThe secret depositories slowly openARTnews 91, no4(April 1992): 48+
5Akinsha, KonstantinA Soviet-German exchange of war treasures?ARTnews 90, no5(May 1991): 134-139
6Akinsha, KonstantinThe turmoil over Soviet war treasuresARTnews 90, no10(December 1991): 110-115
7Akinsha, KonstantinDuma does itARTnews 96, no4(April 1997): 65-66
8Akinsha, KonstantinHermitage sequelARTnews 96, no3(March 1997): 56
9Akinsha, KonstantinWar loot: drawings for Deutsche Marks?ARTnews 91, no7(September 1992): 35
11Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovSpoils of war: the Soviet Union's hidden art treasuresARTnews 90, no4(April 1991): 130-141
12Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovYeltsin - repatriation is a long way offARTnews 91, no6(Summer 1992): 45+
13Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovMoscow: war loot - drawings for Deutsche marks?ARTnews(September 1992)
14Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovTo return or not to returnARTnews 93, no8(October 1994): 154+
15Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovMoscow: let the museums decideARTnews(December 1992)
17Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovDas Gold von Troja liegt in Moskau (Trojan gold residing in Moscow)ARTnews 4(April 1993)
18Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovThe Soviets' war treasures: a growing controversyARTnews 90, no7(September 1991): 112-119
19Akinsha, Konstantin and Grigorii KozlovThe discovery of the secret repositoriesIn The spoils of war - World War II and its aftermath: the loss, reappearance, and recovery of cultural property, 162-165New York: Harry N
16Akinsha, Konstantin, Grigorii Kozlov and Sylvia HochfieldStolen treasure: the hunt for the world's lost masterpiecesLondon: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995xiii, 301 pp

*In 2015 it was announced that, as part of a merger, "‘ARTnews’ Magazine Ceases Monthly Print Publication After 113 Years" but all the concerned publications were to be online by the end of the year. Did this include archives?)

The Looted Art Bibliography contains references to many more informative articles published in Artnews, including:

25Attias, LaurieLooking for loot at the LouvreARTnews 97, no4(April 1998): 74
26Beck, ErnestHungary asks Russia for missing art treasuresARTnews 91, no4(April 1992): 45+
37Buomberger, ThomasThe baron's share?ARTnews(November 1998): 75
41Cembalest, RobinIt's official: the Trojan Gold is in RussiaARTnews 92, no4(April 1993): 125
49Czernin, HubertusLaw of return?ARTnews(November 1998): 80
53Decker, AndrewAn untapped, if forbidden, sourceARTnews 91, no7(September 1992): 36+
54Decker, AndrewA legacy of shameARTnews 83, no10(December 1984): 54-82
55Decker, AndrewMy argument was not with the German people""ARTnews(September 1992): 36 - 37
56Decker, Andrew and Konstantin AkinshaA worldwide treasure huntARTnews 90, no6(Summer 1991): 130-138
57Decker, Andrew and Milton EsterowAustria's bid for justiceARTnews 95, no11(December 1996): 90
58Decker, Andrew and Ferdinancd ProtzmanVienna: complexity, contradictionsARTnews 88, no5(May 1989): 63
59Decker, Andrew and Mariana SchroederBlocking the black marketARTnews 94, no4(April 1995): 46
65Dornberg, JohnThe mounting embarrassment of Germany's Nazi treasuresARTnews 88, no7(September 1988): 130-141
74Esterow, MiltonA little justice in AustriaARTnews 94, no7(September 1995): Editorial
92Frankfurter, Alfred MReturn of the Dresden paintingsARTnews 54(February 1956)
94Freudenheim, Tom LWill everything become suspect?ARTnews 97, no3(March 1998): 100
133Henry-Künzel, Ginger and Andrew DeckerNever look a gift horse in the mouthARTnews 93, no4(April 1994): 51-52
138Hinchberger, BillBrazil uncovers Nazi war lootARTnews(September 1998): 67
139Hochfield, SylviaSt. Petersburg: will the Hermitage return the DegasARTnews 94(March 1995)
140Hochfield, SylviaUnder a Russian sofa: 101 looted treasuresARTnews 92, no4(April 1993): 120-125
141Hochfield, SylviaThe Russians renegeARTnews 93, no6(Summer 1994): 68+
142Hochfield, SylviaTwice stolenARTnews 94, no4(April 1995): 85-86
143Hochfield, SylviaNobody knows what to do nextARTnews 94, no5(May 1995): 65-66
144Hochfield, SylviaDo the right thingARTnews 97, no2(February 1998): 66
145Hochfield, SylviaWill the Hermitage return the Degas?ARTnews 94, no3(March 1995): 48+
146Hochfield, SylviaThe Malevich legacy: heirs vs. museumsARTnews 92, no9(November 1993): 65+
147Hochfield, SylviaThe Russian surpriseARTnews(January 1999): 56, 58
148Hochfield, SylviaWrestling with restitutionARTnews(Summer 1998): 59
149Hochfield, SylviaBack to the drawing roomARTnews(December 1998): 61
150Hochfield, SylviaStatute with limitationsARTnews(November 1998): 57
177Jolis, AlanWar loot goes on-lineARTnews 95, no8(September 1996): 58
229Lauria, JoeAn amicable resolutionARTnews 97, no9(October 1998): 54
240Lowenthal, ConstanceThe Quedling embarrassmentARTnews 91, no6(Summer 1992): 158+
242Lowenthal, ConstanceThe Quedling embarrassmentARTnews 91, no6(Summer 1992): 158
263Morey, Charles RWhat we are actually doing to save Europe's artARTnews 43(May 15-31,1944): 9-10, 24-25
284Petropoulos, JonathanExposing deep files""ARTnews 98, no1(January 1999): 143-144
367Tully, JuddThe war loot questions: no easy answerARTnews 94, no6(Summer 1995): 144
368Tully, JuddThe war loot questions: no easy answerARTnews 94, no6(Summer 1995): 144
383Waxman, SharonAustria: ending the legacy of shameARTnews 94, no7(September 1995): 122-125
384Waxman, SharonJustice in Austria... finally?ARTnews 94, no1(January 1995): 154+


In the interest of facilitating historical research into the Holocaust, looted art and provenance, it would be desirable to place the URL or DOI where the article can be read next to each one of these references. However, for dozens of the articles in the Looted Art Bibliography, it is hard to see how to do this. There is frequently no URL on the publisher site. EBSCO does not always publish the text. Articles are not necessarily discoverable to Google, even if some of them continue to exist behind paywalls. For certain Artnews articles, even paper copies of back issues can, in some cases, be difficult to obtain.

 ARTnews publishes author archives. We had hoped to find the articles in the Looted Art Bibliography listed there, but did not have success.

Below, for example, are the Artnews author archives for Konstantin Akinsha, retrieved on October 31, 2019

Author Archives: Konstantin Akinsha


High Court Drama: Scholars, Christie’s, and the Russian Oligarch


Resurrecting Stalin?


Where the Pictures Don’t Always Match the Labels


Art in Russia: Under Attack


The Mauerbach Scandal


The Mysterious Journey of an Erotic Masterpiece


Rostropovich Collection Comes Home to Russia


More Demand, More Questions


The Scandal Sweeping Russia’s Art Market


Disputed Larionov Painting Stays Close to Its Russian Roots


Provocateurs, Ghosts, Accomplices, and Starz


‘Orthodox Bulldozer’