Restitution: The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation agrees on a just and fair solution with the heirs of Curt Glaser
The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (SPK, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and the heirs of Curt Glaser have agreed to allow the SPK to keep two drawings and several photographs in its holdings in return for a payment of compensation. The SPK had recently identified these works as belonging to Glaser’s collection.
Researchers discovered the drawings during a systematic investigation of SPK’s Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings), a project which has been granted funding by the German Lost Art Foundation for a period of three years. The investigation also identified 26 photographic works which had once belong to Glaser’s former estate.
Glaser, a Berlin museum director and art collector, suffered persecution because of his Jewish ancestry. In 1933, he lost his job and, after a circuitous journey, eventually emigrated to the United States. Glaser put his art collection up for auction; several items of which - including the two drawings - were purchased by the Nationalgalerie. The SPK obtained ownership of the works from the Glaser collection when the Nationalgalerie’s entire collection of drawings was incorporated into the Kupferstichkabinett. The 26 photos are part of a larger collection of some 10,000 photographic works which Glaser donated to the Kunstbibliothek before emigrating in 1933, most of which are now believed to be lost.
The SPK had already returned four works from Glaser’s former collection to his heirs in 2012.