Patricia KENNEDY GRIMSTED. Nazi-Looted Art from East and West in East Prussia: Initial Findings on the Erich Koch Collection

22 грудня 2015

The article contrasts long-suppressed details of German art seizures during the Second World War from Ukrainian state museums and Western Jewish dealers, ordered to Königsberg by Erich Koch, Gauleiter of East Prussia and Reich Commissar of Ukraine. While most of the art from Kyiv was destroyed by retreating Germans when the Red Army arrived (February 1945),
here we investigate “survivors.” Initial provenance findings about the collection Koch evacuated to Weimar in February 1945 reveal some paintings from Kyiv. More, however, were seized from Dutch and French Holocaust victims by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and his cohorts, including Jewish dealers Jacques Goudstikker (Amsterdam) and Georges Wildenstein (Paris). Many paintings deposited in Weimar disappeared west; others seized by Soviet authorities were transported to the Hermitage.
These initial findings draw attention to hitherto overlooked contrasting examples of patterns of Nazi art looting and destruction in the East and West, and the pan-European dispersal of important works of art.

На фото:  Loving Glance, attributed to Jean-Pierre Goudreaux (1694–1731), seized during German occupation from what is today the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Art, Kyiv; now held by Doyle New York pending restitution to Kyiv.  Image courtesy of Doyle New York.


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Patricia KENNEDY GRIMSTED. Erich Koch Collection [6221 KB]