Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Foundation and heirs support project to reconstruct Mosse art collection

Date 2017.03.08

The Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg and the heirs of Ger­man art col­lec­tor and news­pa­per pub­lish­er Rudolf Mosse (1843–1920) are joint­ly fi­nanc­ing a project to re­search the where­abouts of works loot­ed from the pa­tron’s col­lec­tion and the ex­act cir­cum­stances of their con­fis­ca­tion. This is the first time pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions in Ger­many and de­scen­dants of the vic­tims of Nazi per­se­cu­tion have joined forces in a part­ner­ship to un­der­take prove­nance re­search.

The project aims to find out which works from the Mosse col­lec­tion are still in ex­is­tence and where they are lo­cat­ed. It will al­so try to es­tab­lish the pre­cise cir­cum­stances of their loss dur­ing the Nazi pe­ri­od, and draw con­clu­sions about the ex­ploita­tion of con­fis­cat­ed cul­tur­al prop­er­ty in the ear­ly phase of the Nazi regime.

The Ger­man-Jew­ish pub­lish­er, art col­lec­tor and phi­lan­thropist Rudolf Mosse was one of the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in Berlin’s eco­nom­ic cir­cles in Im­pe­ri­al Ger­many and the ear­ly days of the Weimar Re­pub­lic. The Mosse fam­i­ly was forced to flee Ger­many af­ter the Nazis took pow­er. The pos­ses­sions they left be­hind af­ter their em­i­gra­tion were auc­tioned off in a forced sale in 1934.

The Foun­da­tion is pro­vid­ing fund­ing of over €300,000 to sup­port the re­search work, ini­tial­ly for two years. The project is based at the Art His­to­ry In­sti­tute of the Freie Uni­ver­sität Berlin (FU) and is sup­port­ed by the Cul­tur­al Foun­da­tions of the Ger­man fed­er­al states, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Prus­sian Cul­tur­al Her­itage Foun­da­tion, the Foun­da­tion of the Jew­ish Mu­se­um Berlin and the Lan­desarchiv (State Archives) of Berlin.

Press re­lease of the FU Berlin