All posts in World War II

A Lesson in Restitution: diving into expropriated art, World War II, and beyond

Purpose of this lesson: In recent years, restitution of art expropriated during the Holocaust era has piqued the interest of many around the world. Today, there is more information available to those looking for art that once belonged to their families, but how exactly did we get here? In this lesson, we will examine the […]

Dissecting the HEAR Act: the US’s law streamlining the restitution of art stolen during WWII

When Woman in Gold debuted in 2015, it brought to life the grueling process, albeit glamorized for the movie screen, of restitution. Starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, the movie follows Maria Altmann (played by Mirren) who, with the help of Randy Schoenberg (Reynolds), her lawyer, fights for the return of a portrait of her aunt, Adele […]

City of Krefeld rejects claims to Mondrian paintings

Four paintings by Piet Mondrian, the Dutch abstract pioneer, have been at the centre of a dispute over ownership and on July 2nd, the German city of Krefeld rejected the claims of Mondrian’s heirs that the paintings have unlawfully remained in a city-owned Kaiser Wilhelm Museum for nearly a century. The heirs of Mondrian believe […]

Germany appeals case over restitution of the Guelph Treasure (worth $275 million) in the US Supreme Court

Returning an artwork that at one time might have been stolen is not a clear-cut process and when you’re dealing with works that were stolen, looted, or simply have a murky provenance during the Nazi era, the process gets even more difficult. This has been the case in an ongoing dispute concerning the Guelph Treasure, […]

New York art dealer detained (again) due to Nazi-looted painting

Today, Russian-born art dealer based in New York Alexander Khochinsky will be released from France to head to Poland for a hearing concerning a painting Khochinsky claims to have received from his father. On February 25th, Khochinsky was detained by French authorities on behalf of the Polish government at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. Since his detention, he was […]

Abstract expressionism, the ambassador of America’s Triumph

François Lévy-Kuentz’s recent documentary called The Hidden Face of American Art, describes the strategies used to enable American art to overtake European art in the power struggle for influence during the Cold War. Narrated by François Marthouret and with commentary by many different historians and art historians, this film contains extensive photographs and archival videos. […]

Watercolours by Adolf Hitler seized by German police

On January 24th, three paintings purportedly by Adolf Hitler were seized by German police from an auction house sale under the suspicion that the watercolours were forgeries. The works depict picturesque landscapes in traditional Romantic manner of the Alps and the Rhine River. Frankly, the paintings are unremarkable, yet pleasant. Dating back to 1910 and […]