Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Jul 11, 2020

DATASET: Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation

The Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation has published a new website.

The TED-CIVS database lists the paintings and drawings (TED = tableau et dessin) mentioned in files submitted by families to the CIVS. The aim is to centralize information on the works contained in the files and make sure they are readily available.

To search CIVS TED:



Jan 3, 2020

Fruits of a Secret Love, Albert Meyer and France's MNR

Les Fruits de l'amour secret

France's Rose-Valland MNR site publishes detailed information about the history of paintings looted by Nazis and returned to France after WWII. 

For the above "Les Fruits de l'amour secret" we learn not only its former title but also something about its history. (see "Historique" in French*).

In 1932 the artwork belonged to "Albert Meyer", however during the Hitler years it changed hands several times. The names associated with the art market transactions during the Nazi years are, according to the MNR, the following:

  • galerie Charpentier (1938)
  • auctionneer Etienne Ader
  • experts Jules Féral et Catrou and Francis Max-Kann
  • Sperling of New York
  • Gilbert Lévy
  • Galerie für Alte Kunst in Munich
  • Linz
  • M. J. Oppenheim of Paris
After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the artwork is associated with:
  • Alt Aussee (1945)
  • Munich Central Collecting Point (1945)
  • Commission de récupération artistique in Paris (1949)
  • Louvre (1952)

What does the Louvre say about this artwork?

The Louvre does mention that it comes from the "Commission de récuperation" but gives no explanation.


The Nazi-era names mentioned in the provenance on France's MNR site are well-known. In 1946, the Art Looting Investigation Unit flagged Charpentier as a Red Flag Name, writing:

Charpentier, Jean. Paris, 76 rue du Fbg St Honore. Sold to Germans through Josef Muehlmann. An exhibition held in March 1941 at his gallery was sold out to Goering. Angerer exhibited tapestries there at the same time which were also sold.

The auctioneer was also documented by the Art Looting Unit:

Ader, Etienne. Paris, 16 rue Favert. Dealer who worked for the Germans during the occupation. Sold to Haberstock. Documentary evidence in Unit files.

and the expert:

Feral, J. Paris, place Vendome. Had a close business connection with the French art dealer Pierre Dandry, who worked with Bornheim and Lohse.

As for Sperling of New York, he was praised by the museum director Thomas Hoving as one of his "favorite dealer-smugglers" (Besides Harry Sperling another of my favorite dealer-smugglers was John J. Klejman.) 
Sperling was in additon the president of Kleinberger, whose Paris branch was run by his cousin Allen Loebl, who was also flagged by the Art Looting Investigation Unit in 1946:

Loebl, Ali (Allen). Paris, rue des Pyramides/9 rue de l’Echelle/34 quai de Passy. Dealer, of Austro-Hungarian Jewish descent. Director and leading spirit of the firm Kleinberger & Co, ‘aryanised ‘ under the name of E Garin during the war. Centre of the informal art dealing syndicate comprising Wendland, Perdoux, Mandl, Boitel, Dequoy, Engel. Sold chiefly to Lohse, Hofer and Haberstock, for whom he travelled as agent in unoccupied France. Contact of Mohnen, Landry, Mestrallet. Indicted by the French Government (Seine Tribunal, Judge Frapier).

Such a provenance for the years 1933-1945 raises a lot of questions.

Where exactly was "Les Fruits de l'amour secret" between 1932 and 1938? 

And who, one wonders, was Albert Meyer? 


Meyer is a very common name. A quick digital search turns up a couple of candidates who were alive in 1932 and who collected art, as well as additional provenances that mention an "Albert Meyer" for those years. We can't know from a simple digital search whether it is the same Albert Meyer, but we can look at the mentions to see if anything pops.

Here, for example, is a mention of "Albert Meyer" in the National Gallery of Art in Washington:

Phillipe Weiner, Paris; Albert Meyer (sold Seligmann Gallery exhibition, Paris May 24-June 8, 1935, no. 100); Mrs. Jesse I. Straus (née Irma S. Nathan, 1876-1970), New York, (her sale, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, 21 October 1970, no. 21); to Armand Hammer Collection, 1970; gift to NGA, 1991.

There is another mention of Meyer together with Seligmann in the Louvre for "Copie d'après VINCI Leonardo da
Ecole florentine,Vieille femme en buste, de profil à gauche":

 acquis par la Société des Amis du Louvre avec le concours de MM. Albert Meyer et Jean Seligmann; don au Louvre, Comité du 26 février 1937 ; marque du Louvre sur chaque folio (L. 1886a).
Dernière provenance : Mayer, Albert
Mode d'acquisition : achat

Année d'acquisition : 1937

and for "Tête d'homme grimaçant, une calotte sur la tête":

If we look for Albert Meyer together with Seligmann, we find a book by Germain Seligman, "Merchants of art: 1800-1960: eighty years of professional collecting", that sheds some light: 

Fortunately, the Paris firm was well-staffed with a number of men 
who had been with my father for many years and who could be relied  upon during my absences. Albert L. Meyer was particularly valuable  for his sound knowledge of the 18th century and his exquisite taste.  His name still gives eclat today to the drawings which he gathered for his personal collection.

This particular Albert Meyers was an art dealer, and an employee of Seligmann.  He accompanied Germain Seligmann on all kinds of racombolesque and amusing art business, but it all came to an abrupt end with the Nazi occupation of France (page 233):

France, of course, had been at war since September, and my young 
brother, Francois-Gerard, was called up immediately. He made the 
weary trek to Dunkirk and then joined the Resistance, where he made a brilliant record in extremely dangerous work. By some miracle, my sisters and their families escaped the awful fates of so many Jews, though they lived through terrible years of wandering and hiding. 
My brother Andre managed to get to this country with his family in 
1940 and opened a gallery in New York. He was among the first to 
rush back to France in 1945 but died of a heart attack soon after his 
homecoming. My cousin Rene, ill in a New York hospital, completely lost his will to live when France fell in June, 1940, and died within a week of that most awful of days. Jean Seligmann, son of my Uncle Arnold, was captured and shot at Vincennes. Albert Meyer, my father's and my longtime associate in the Paris firm, died in a concentration camp under atrocious conditions. 

Almost the entire stock of the Paris firm was confiscated as Jewish 
property and sold at public auction by order of the Vichy government. 
The family house on the rue de Constantine and its entire contents 
suffered the same fate, as did my private collection, much of which 
was still in my Paris apartment. At this time, the Paris records were 

burned to keep them from falling into Nazi hands. 

Albert Meyer died in a concentration camp as a Jew.

If one searches for "Albert Meyer" on The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names at Yad Vashem, one finds:

For Paris there is one Albert Meyer: Birth Year: 1874. Fate: Murdered.

The information comes from a list of deporations from France, found in Le Mémorial de la déportation des juifs de France, Béate et Serge Klarsfeld, Paris, 1978

The information on Albert Meyer of Paris published by Yad Vashem:

Last NameMeyer
First NameAlbert
Date of Birth06/06/1874
Place of BirthParis,Seine,France
Place during the WarFrance
Origin of DeportationDrancy,Camp,France
Destination of DeportationAuschwitz,Camp,Poland
Details of TransportTransport 67 from Drancy,Camp,France to Auschwitz Birkenau,Extermination Camp,Poland on 03/02/1944  
Status according to Sourcedeported to an extermination camp
SourceLe Mémorial de la déportation des juifs de France, Béate et Serge Klarsfeld, Paris 1978
Type of materialList of deportation from France
Item ID3203168
* Automatic translation from Hebrew


Titre: Les Fruits de l'amour secret
Ancien titre: L'Evanouissement
Auteur / exécutant / collecteur: BAUDOIN Pierre-Antoine

Référence: REC00145
Nom de la base: Récupération artistique (MNR Rose-Valland)
Date de la dernière mise à jour: 2019-08-16
Siècle:18e siècle
Technique:Papier ; pierre noire, lavis d'encre de Chine et touches de bistre
Dimensions:H. 0,295 ; La. 0,350 m.
Genèse: Variante de ce même sujet, le dessin INV 23699, voir : GUIFFREY, Jean et MARCEL, Pierre, "Inventaire Général des Dessins de l'école française", tome I, Adam à Bouchardon", Paris, Musées Nationaux, 1933, p. 44, repr. n° 197 p. 45.

Historique: Le dessin appartient en 1932 à Albert Meyer, ainsi que le mentionne le catalogue de l'exposition à la "Royal Academy of Arts" de Londres en janvier-mars 1932 (2). Enfin, l'oeuvre est présentée à la vente à la galerie Charpentier le 15 juin 1938, comme "provenant de la collection A. M., vente à Paris en vue de cessation d'indivision ... commissaire-priseur Me Etienne Ader, experts MM. Jules Féral et Catroux et M. Francis Max-Kann ..." sous le numéro de lot 1. Le dessin est acquis pour "M. Sperling de New-York par M. Gilbert Lévy agissant pour le compte de l'indivision", pour 38000 francs (3). Le dessin est acquis, le 25 août 1943, à la "Galerie für Alte Kunst" à Munich, pour le musée de Linz pour la somme de 25000 RM et provient de M. J. Oppenheim à Paris (4). Il est inventorié au musée de Linz sous le numéro 2968 et lors de la débâcle allemande le 4 juillet 1945, est transféré par précaution à Alt Aussee, puis acheminé au Central Collecting Point de Munich. Il est envoyé à Paris et arrive au siège de la Commission de récupération artistique le 10 juin 1949 (5) Le dessin est remis au musée du Louvre (Cabinet des dessins) par la Commission de récupération artistique en mars 1952 (6).


Web Sites Cited:

Yad Vashem website: The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names

France website Rose-Vallande MNR

LootedArt:Com website Post-War Reports: Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index

Artnet website: ARTFUL TOM, A MEMOIR by Thomas Hoving, Chapter 24 Getting Restless

Internet Archive: Full text of "Merchants of art: 1800-1960: eighty years of professional collecting" by Germain Seligman

USA: website National Gallery of Art

France website Le Louvre Les collections du département des
arts graphiques

See also

and (for MNR artworks with detailed information including provenance:

Permalink :

Nov 18, 2018

Allen Loebl

"LOEBL was LOHSE's adviser and intermediary in a substantial number of transactions, and "spotted" pictures for him"

Who Was Allen Loebl? (Also: Ali Loebl) What was his role at Galerie Kleinberger in Paris? What was his relationship with Harry G. Sperling at F. Kleinberger & Co. in New York? What were his relations with the Nazi and SS ERR art looter Bruno Lohse? Why did he appear so many times on the Art Looting Investigation Unit Red Flag list?