Showing posts with label art historian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art historian. Show all posts

Feb 2, 2021

Lies Provenance Researchers Told

This post aims to collect, little by little, published provenances that have been proven to be false, and, where possible, to specify their authors and publishers.

Why try to identify lies in provenances?

Lying about the fate of artworks owned by Jewish collectors who were persecuted by the Nazis inserts false information into the historical record of the Holocaust. 

For a provenance researcher to do this deliberately is, in my opinion, a grave act of immorality which facilitates Holocaust denial. 

For a provenance researcher to do this "accidentally" is evidence of incompetence, which should be sanctioned and not rewarded by employers and funders.

Readers are invited to add examples of published false provenances in the comments.


False Provenances Concerning Ownership during the Nazi Era by Artist (to Research and Confirm)

Gustav Klimt

Edgar Degas

Marc Chagall


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

- Provenance errors by Nazi art collector Kurt Feldhäusser and the Museum of Modern Art in New York ("location mixup")

(why did MoMA’s version carry yet another title, “Sand Hills in Engadine”?...MoMA realized Mr. Feldhäusser had mistaken the hills for ones on an island near Denmark while the museum had mistaken them for hills in Switzerland. -WSJ)

for more examples of Jewish owned art passing under the Nazis through Ferdinand Möller Galerie, Berlin ==> Kurt Feldhäuser, Berlin ==> museums see Fischer, Max



Paul Gauguin

Faaturuma (Melancholic)

"The Wildenstein catalogue raisonné of 1964 tentatively suggests that a certain “Dr. Hahnloser, Zurich” owned Faaturuma between Vollard and Wolfensberger. The best-known collectors fitting this description are Arthur Hahnloser (1870-1936) and his brother Emil Hahnloser (1874-1940). However, neither began collecting works by Gauguin until after World War I. As Lukas Gloor notes, “an acquisition by Arthur Hahnloser of Faaturumain 1912 would…have been totally out of sync with Arthur’s collecting behaviour at that time” and “an acquisition by Emil Hahnloser of Faaturuma in 1912 would have been a totally isolated affair”; see e-mail from Lukas Gloor, Director, Sammlung E. G. Bührle, to Brigid Boyle, July 23, 2015, NAMA curatorial files. 

[5] The Wildenstein catalogue raisonné of 1964 claims that Justin K. Thannhauser owned Faaturuma between Wolfensberger and Stransky, but there is no documentary evidence to support this." - (source: Nelson-Atkins museum online provenance text (December 2017))


George Grosz


"Le Repos Dans Le Jardin Argenteuil" (Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil)

Claude Monet

Amedeo Modigliani

Pablo Picasso

Thomas Couture

Édouard Vuillard

François Boucher

El Greco

Egon Schiele

André Derain

Paul Klee

Jan van Goyen 




Camille Pissarro

Georges Braque

Wassily Kandinsky

Henri Matisse

Gustave Courbet

Gerard T. Borch

Albert Gleizes

Frans Hals


Corneille de Lyon

Lucien Adrion

Bernardo Bellotto

Carl Blechen

Van Gogh

Lovis Corinth

Carl Spitzweg


Giambattista Tiepolo

Cornelis Troost

Jean-Louis Forain

Constantin Guys

Adolph von Menzel

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

Émile Vernet-Lecomte

(update ongoing...)



Gustav Klimt Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) by  (Former owner, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer)


El Greco “Portrait of a Gentleman”  Seized by Nazis Returns to Owner’s Family in Artsbeat NYT. (Former owner, Julius Priester)


Edgar Degas “Landscape with Smokestacks” (1890) Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle!prettyPhoto[pp_gal]/0/


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1917-18 painting ‘Sand Hills in Engadine aka ‘Sand Hills (By Grünau)’ Museum of Modern Art Returns Painting to Heirs of Man Who Fled Nazis, WSJ (Former owner, Max Fischer


Claude Monet "Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil" (Le Repos Dans Le Jardin Argenteuil) , Settlement Reached on Monet’s Garden at Argenteuil (Former owner, Maria Newman, widow of Henry P. Newman)


Paul Klee “Swamp Legend,” from 1919 After 26 Years, Munich Settles Case Over a Klee Looted by the Nazis in NYT (Former owner, Ms. Lissitzky-Küppers)


Jan van Goyen (1595 – 1656), River Landscape with a SwineherdA Goudstikker van Goyen in Gdańsk: A Case Study of Nazi-Looted Art in Poland (Former owner, Jacques Goustikker)


See also:


Jul 29, 2019

What does it mean to find André Schoeller in the provenance of an artwork?

André Schoeller in 1946 ALIU Red Flag Network

The investigators of the Art Looting Investigation Unit linked the name of André Schoeller to notorious Nazi art looters Bruno Lohse and Adolf Wuester, as well as a highly suspicious art dealer named Petrides.  

What does it mean to find André Schoeller in the provenance of an artwork? Or as the author of a catalog which contains provenance information?

To which person does the name "André Schoeller" refer?

There is the André Schoeller (1879–1955) who was arrested for his role in Nazi art looting during the Occupation, and there is his son, also named André Schoeller, who died in 2015 amid praise for his art expertise.

In this post we attempt to clarify the different André Schoeller(s), gathering archives, news articles and authority files. The update is ongoing...

Feb 26, 2018

WWII Art Looting Networks: Göpel (Goepel), Wuester, Holzapfel, Lefranc, Mandl, Birtschansky and Bloch
National Archives 

Erhard Göpel was an art historian who worked as an art dealer for Adolf Hitler

Göpel's role in art looting was extensively documented by, among others, the OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit during and after the Second World War. His wife, Barbara, was also an art dealer.

The Göpels (or Goepels) are back in the news in 2018 as The Art Newspaper reports: "Widow of Hitler’s art dealer, Erhard Göpel, bequeaths Max Beckmann works to Berlin" by Catherine Hickley)

"Erhard Göpel was a key member of the Linz Special Commission, the team of dealers who purchased—and looted—art across Europe for Hitler’s unrealised Führermuseum, planned for his home town of Linz. Göpel was instrumental in acquiring the Schloss family collection in Paris after it had been looted by the Gestapo. The collection, assembled by an Austrian-born French Jew, included works by Rembrandt and Frans Hals. After the war, Göpel evaded sentencing and spent the rest of his career organising exhibitions in Munich."...
In 1944, Göpel travelled to the Netherlands and Belgium on an art shopping spree with Hildebrand Gurlitt, the dealer whose collection caused a worldwide media sensation when it was discovered in the Munich apartment of his son Cornelius Gurlitt in November 2013. During their business trip they visited Beckmann, who was living in Amsterdam in exile with his wife Quappi. As a victim of Joseph Goebbelss campaign against Modern art, Beckmann had left Germany the day before the Degenerate Art exhibition opened in Munich in 1937. "
- The Art Newspaper, Feb 21, 2018