Showing posts with label training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label training. Show all posts

Feb 20, 2023

Tracking Looted Art 2: Sothebys Sales of Restituted Artworks as Data

The provenances of artworks restituted to Jewish families  plundered by Nazis contain valuable information for the art historian and Holocaust scholar.

  • Which transactions occur between the seizure/sale under the Nazis and the restitution?
  • Which names appear in these transactions?
  • How often do they appear?

This post looks a a simple method for identifying the names of these buyers and sellers for further analysis. In this example, we look at the provenances of artworks sold at Sothebys after they were restituted to their original owners or their heirs.

Dec 14, 2022

Art Provenance Texts as Data: Restitution Histories in Auction Catalogs

Adolph Menzel, restituted to the heirs of Walter Westfeld

When Nazi-looted artworks are restituted, families are often obliged to sell at least some of the artworks. For this they turn to auction houses. As a result, the provenances published by auction houses may provide valuable insights into the art market networks that handled the looted art until the time of restitution

Below is a selection of several provenances published online by Sotheby's. Some of the provenance texts indicate that artworks put up for auction had previously been restituted to the families of persecuted collectors. 

For the artworks that have been restituted, the provenances - before the restitution - offer clues to how the resale market for Nazi-looted art worked. Through which hands did the artworks pass? Do any names recur?