We are independent historians and art provenance researchers based in Germany and the United Kingdom whose collaborations were set in motion by the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) and the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI). Our specialty is the Nazi era and its lasting ramifications. Since 2014 we have tenaciously traced people and works of art through twenty-five countries. We call upon the press when reviewing art exhibitions anywhere to report routinely on the percentage of works on display without provenances. 

Gregory Hahn, Ph.D., Karolina Hyży, M.A., and Project Associates

News

Eric Isenburger's "Salzburg" at the Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz

Linz, Austria. “Die Reise der Bilder” opens at the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz, Austria, on 20 March 2024 where it will run through 8 September. The exhibition, part of a larger European Capital of Culture project, concerns the fate of artworks hidden away in Austria’s Salzkammergut region after 1943. Our catalog chapter, Hiding the Works 1933/Versteckte Kunst 1933 departs from the exhibition’s historical focus to trace Frankfurt refugee artist Eric Isenburger’s painting Salzburg from Wolfgang Gurlitt’s gallery in Berlin to the Galerie Moderne in Stockholm. The painting itself, one of few pre-1942 Isenburgers anywhere with a provenance, will be on display throughout the exhibition in homage to those many artists who were forced to hide their own works after Hitler became Chancellor.

The exhibition catalog, which is in German only, can be ordered here.

The illustrated English version of our essay can be read here.

Eric Isenburger. *1902 Frankfurt am Main, New York, ✡︎1994. Salzburg, 1931/32. Oil on canvas, 80 x 65 cm. Private collection Berlin. © Shmuel Elen. Photo: Christoph Petras, art-repro Berlin.

Strauss Archive from Wuppertal to Leo Baeck Institute, N.Y.

New York. In collaboration with the Leo Baeck Institute, accessioning and digitizing the Artur and Lucy Strauss archive will begin this summer in New York. Strauss, a physician and cousin of Else-Lasker Schüler, was a member of the Jung Wuppertal group of poets and a naturally gifted artist. Although he made the practical decision to study medicine rather than art as a young man, the muses never abandoned him. As members of the assimilated Jewish middle class, he and his wife (née Hertz) were avid collectors and patrons of the arts in Barmen — once a vibrant modernist center and today a part of Wuppertal. Unable to obtain immigrant visas and join their son Arnold, also a physician, who had emigrated to the USA two weeks after the photograph below was taken, Artur and Lucy committed suicide in The Hague in September of 1940. This large and historically important collection, which consists largely of correspondence from 1919 to 1948, represents an inexhaustible source of political, cultural and psychological commentary from the Weimar Republic through the Nazi Era.

On 25 July 1935, Artur and Lucy Strauss arranged to be photographed one last time at home in Barmen before packing everything they owned, including the art collection, library and family archive for shipment into an unknown future. “In the room in Hütt’s factory our things look like so much rummage from the junk man. It was impossible to imagine that it all came from a cultivated household and that it might be put back together into one someday. I lacked the courage to go back into the room after the movers left. Artur likened it the next day to standing on the ruins of Carthage.” (Lucy Strauss). © 2024 the estate of Artur and Lucy Strauss, USA.

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