When more than one thousand lost artworks by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Emil Nolde, Claude Monet, and Wassily Kandinsky turned up in the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012, the find was celebrated as a sensation. But the accusation that the collection was the product of wartime looting also hovered, unspoken, in the air.
Now, for the first time, the works from the Gurlitt estate on view in Bonn and Bern are introduced in a comprehensive book that unfolds their turbulent history. This volume presents the artworks found at Gurlitt’s estate in their historical context, investigating the provenance of the works, which in some cases had been vilified by the National Socialist regime as “degenerate art,” and probing which works were looted, which purchased legally, and which acquired in forced sales. Additionally, contributors to the volume explore the biographies of Jewish collectors and artists who were the victims of art theft and the Holocaust, and retrace how stolen works were returned to museums and private collections after 1945.
The official catalog to the exhibition from the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Gurlitt displays these artworks to the public for the first time and offers a nuanced account of this unique case in the postwar history of Germany.
9.5 x 11"
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