Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen and Museum Folkwang in Essen launch provenance research project
Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen and Museum Folkwang in Essen are launching a joint provenance research project. It will enable investigation into works in the two collections that were acquired by the Abels art dealer family (Cologne and Dresden). The project is supported by the German Lost Art Foundation.
The project focuses on the question of whether any of the works may have been obtained as a result of Nazi persecution. The Cologne galleries of Hermann and Aenne Abels played a prominent part in the Rhine art market until the end of the 1960s: both galleries sold 19th century, Impressionist and Classical Modernist works to many museums in the Rhineland, the Ruhr and Westphalia. Because Hermann and Aenne Abels continued to trade throughout the Second World War and after 1945, and due to other suspicious factors, acquisitions with this provenance are being examined to establish whether they are Nazi-confiscated property.
The project also aims to build a database of all works of art from the Abels galleries that were traded between 1933 and 1968 and which are still held in the two museums. This will create a digital, updatable search tool that will be available for long-term, sustained provenance research.