Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Restitution: The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation agrees on a just and fair solution with the heirs of Curt Glaser

Date 2016.04.21

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.

Press re­lease by the SPK (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)