|Free University, Berlin|
As it turns out, the program itself, new as it is, is far from being that ambitious. In fact, it is a provenance research program. The novelty of teaching provenance research in an undergraduate setting is duly noted, but the fanfare surrounding the creation of the program might have been a bit over the top.
Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at what is actually being taught and by whom. The program addresses a number of broad themes: the historical background, the impact of National Socialist cultural policy; reparations and compensation (hopefully, restitution figures here as well); case studies of provenance research conducted for auction houses, museums, private collections and claimants; Art and the Law; Sources and Documentation. Students are expected to produce research papers and present their findings at the end of the course.
There is one lecture per week. A different specialist presents a specific topic at each lecture. The program is broken down into two segments; coursework in the first semester and independent archival research in the second semester.
Although the Third Reich orchestrated institutional acts of cultural plunder in every country that it occupied, the historical locus of the program remains Nazi Germany with some considerations given to collections stolen in other parts of Europe and to the methods of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR).
As to the types of looted cultural objects being covered in the case studies, emphasis, as usual, is on paintings and works on paper, but other categories are also being addressed like furniture, accessories, and Judaica.
Subsequent to the program, the Free University of Berlin has organized three month internships for the students with institutions in Berlin, Leipzig and London. The lecture “Cultural and museum policies and the art market during the Nazi era” was taught by Meike Hoffmann together with Andreas Hüneke. Together with Uwe Hartmann, she also taught the lecture “Galleries, private collections, dealers and collectors (Aryanization, confiscation and duress sales)” while visiting the exhibition “Gute Geschäfte. Kunsthandel in Berlin 1933-45 (A Good Business: The Art Trade in Berlin 1933-45)” which was on display at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, 10 April-31 July 2011.
The following is a summary of the courses offered and a brief description:
"Looting during the Napoleonic wars and gaps in the historical record prior to the 20th century" Uwe Hartmann (AfP)
- The effect of secularization (1803) on the art trade and the development of private and public collections.
- Napoleon’s donations
- The law to re-establish the civil service (7.04.1933) and its impact on museum directors.
- Auction houses and galleries during the Third Reich
- Consequences of Nazi Cultural Policy
- Confiscation of “degenerate art” at the museum of fine arts and applied arts in Halle in 1937.
- The exploitation of “degenerate art” through the art dealer Bernhard A. Böhmer.
- The art dealer Karl Haberstock (1878-1956) – Hitler's art dealer
- The Aryanization of the Heinemann Gallery
- “Sonderauftrag Linz” (Special commission Linz) and the confiscation of the Adolphe Schloss collection
- Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg and the confiscation of the Salomon Flavian collection.
"Public collections in Germany dealing with the burdened inheritance from1945 to the present (CCP – TVK – BADV)" Dr. Angelika Enderlein (BADV)
- The work of the American Allies in the Munich Central Collecting Point (MCCP)
- The dispute about the Sachs poster collection in the German Historical Museum
- The dispute about “Sumpflegende” by Paul Klee
|"Sumpflegende", Paul Klee|
"Provenance research in the art trade" Isabel von Klitzing (Sotheby’s)
- The collection Henry and Emma Budge, Hamburg
- Lovis Corinth „Römische Campagna“, 1914, from the collection Curt Glaser, Berlin
|"Der Watzmann", Caspar David Friedrich|
- Caspar David Friedrich „Der Watzmann“ (1824/25). Acquired by the National Gallery in 1937 from Martin Brunn (Berlin)
- Johann Erdmann Hummel „Bildnis Frau Luise Mila“ (around 1815). Acquired by the National Gallery from a private collection in 1937
Source: Jüdisches Museum, Berlin
- Hermann Göring and the confiscation of the Goudstikker collection
- Just and Fair Solutions: Restitution of confiscated Jewish collections in Holland using the example of the Goudstikker collection
"Results of provenance research as a basis for court decisions or out-of-court settlements" Carola Thielecke (HV SPK)
Sources & Documentation
"Archival material, databases and further electronic resources in use for provenance research" Dr. Andrea Baresel-Brand (Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg)
According to the 13 April 2011 press release accouncing the program, for more information, please contact:
Dr. Meike Hoffman
Freie Universität Berlin, Kunsthistoisches Institut, Forschungsstelle Entartete Kunst
Telefon: 030 / 838-54523