Showing posts with label EHRI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EHRI. Show all posts

Mar 7, 2021

Provenance cases for students of art history

"...the Grünbaum heirs contend that Mr. Kornfeld’s account is a fiction and that the documents are forgeries. They say it is suspicious that he did not identify Ms. Lukacs-Herzl as his supplier until nearly two decades after her death, and they contest the validity of the signatures on the records, pointing to places where Ms. Lukacs-Herzl’s name is misspelled or written in pencil...."


- William D. Cohan, Jewish Heirs Take on an Art Foundation That Rights Nazi Wrongs, NYT, Aug. 26, 2018




Questions for students of art history

1) Why is it important to establish an accurate account of the ownership history of an artwork?

2) How to verify whether an art dealer is telling the truth or lying about the provenance an artwork he or she sold?

3) What elements in this story help to clarify an accurate sequence of events? 

4) What historical knowledge is needed to make sense of these different accounts?

5) What additional information can you find from other sources that make it possible to see more clearly what really happened?

6) This NYT news story was published in 2018. What has happened since then? Do recent events shed light on who was telling the truth and who was lying? If so, how?

read more at:

Jewish Heirs Take on an Art Foundation That Rights Nazi Wrongs by By William D. Cohan, Aug. 26, 2018

Dec 15, 2020

Loebl in the Kleinberger archives


Network described in the 1946 OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) Final Report Red Flag List of Names: Ali (Allen) Loebl and Bruno Lohse


The OSS ALIU Reports on Nazi looting networks in Europe put Allen Loebl at the center of a syndicate of art dealers trading Nazi looted art. Loebl appears in the Red Flag Name index and is mentioned in the Final report fourteen times. The ALIU investigators who drafted the Final Report specified that Loebl had close ties to Bruno Lohse, a notorious Nazi art plunderer. 

At the very least, the mention of Loebl in a provenance from the Nazi era (1933-1945) should mobilise provenance researchers and Holocaust researchers to trace the full history of the artwork in question and to verify whether the artwork belonged to a Jewish collector or dealer who was persecuted when Hitler came to power.  

In this context, the publication of the Kleinberger Archives represents a major step forward


It was chiefly through LOEBL that LOHSE became familiar with the Paris art trade, and became acquainted with such other dealers and Victor MANDEL, PERDOUX and ENGEL, who operated as an informal syndicate. (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 3, "German Methods of Acquisition, " Dealers.)



The Kleinberger archives are now online. 

Searching is fast and easy. Results show all the mentions, as well as the artists and more. 

Below is the result of a simple search for Loebl, (cousin of Kleinberger president Harry Sperling and a Red Flag Name for his involvement in selling Nazi looted art).

The artists concerned by these transactions (according to the website) include:


The Kleinberger Archives offer new possibilities for research.

note: Under Harry Sperling, the president of Kleinberger and Allen Loebl's cousin, the Kleinberger art dealership got up to all kinds of tricky business. 

Sperling deserves a serious investigative biography that takes into account his art dealing, smuggling, and intelligence-related activities, which are attested in numerous documents.

This new resource, which makes it possible to quickly search through the Kleinberger files, should help researchers who want to shed like on these transactions.