May 19, 2024

Holocaust victims and refugees in art provenances

Museums and auction houses rarely mention that a name in a provenance of an artwork corresponds to a person who was robbed and murdered by the Nazis or a Jewish refugee fleeing to escape the Holocaust.

This Wikidata Sparql query displays a few of the art collector whose names are absolutely to be considered red flags in provenances because they either died in the Holocaust or were forced to flee to survive.

Wikidata query run 18 May 2024: Short link:

Table: Art Collectors and Dealers who died in the Holocaust or were forced to flee

May 9, 2024

Osthaus Museum Hagen restitutes Renoir "View of the Sea from Haut Cagnes" to heirs of Jakob Goldschmidt (1882-1955)

1903 Renoir Blick aufs Meer

Jakob Goldschmidt (1882-1955) was one of the most important bankers of the Weimar Republic. Persecuted by the National Socialist regime, Goldschmidt fled Germany in the spring of 1933 and emigrated to the USA via Switzerland in 1936. His German citizenship was revoked in 1940 and his assets were confiscated the following year. 

Goldschmidt's art collection was auctioned off on September 25, 1941 at the Hans W. Lange auction house in Berlin

The Renoir painting Blick von Haut Cagnes aufs Meer (cat. no. 45) (View of the Sea from Haut Cagnes) was purchased by Hildegard Diehn, the wife of Wehrmacht officer Wilhelm Diehn. In 1960 the Renoir was at the Nathan Gallery in Zurich, where it was acquired by Prof. Gustav Stein from Cologne, a member of the Federation of German Industries. He passed the painting on to Fritz Berg, President of the South Westphalian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Hagen in 1948 and the first BDI President from 1949. After the death of his widow, Hildegard Berg, the Berg art collection was transferred to the Osthaus Museum Hagen

- source: press release from Osthaus Museum Hagen

Apr 22, 2024

Minneapolis Institute of Art provenance status for selected artworks - mostly European

The Minneapolis Institute of Art publishes provenances for some artworks but not for others.

Below is a list of selected artworks at Artsmia.

Provenances, where present, are from April 20, 2024)

Download Data in  CSV for research

Jan 16, 2024

Tracking Looted Art with Knowledge Graphs: A Wikidata Case Study

Art looting networks operate on many levels, many of them hidden, over long periods of time. The native graph function of Wikidata enhanced by federated queries can help track them.

April 9, 2022, Laurel Zuckerman

Graphs and Networks in the Humanities 2022 Technologies, Models, Analyses, and Visualizations

6th International Conference, 3. – 4. February 2022, Online

The 6th international conference on Graphs and Networks in the Humanities took place from Thursday 3. February to Friday 4. February 2022 online, co-organized by scholars from the Huygens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz, Vienna University, University of Leipzig, and the University Ca’ Foscari Venice

Paper: Tracking Looted Art with Graphs: A Case Study 

See also:

The Error is the Message: Extracting Insights from Deceptive Data for Nazi looted art


The Knowledge Graph Conference, 2023