Paris 1940–1944: Theft and trade of cultural assets under German occupation – transnational review opens up new perspectives for provenance research
From November 30 to December 1, 2017, the conference “Theft & Trade. The French Art Market Under German Occupation (1940–1944)”, hosted by the German Lost Art Foundation, will bring together notable international experts who will present the findings of their respective research. The 300 participants of the specialist conference will also engage in stimulating discussion with the speakers on the following questions: Who were the stakeholders and who the despoiled? How did Nazi policies, art history expertise and market interests mesh? How did the collaboration work?
“This conference brings together researchers from France, Germany and other countries for the first time, allowing a transnational view to be gained of the art market and its stakeholders in occupied Paris,” said Prof. Gilbert Lupfer, academic director of the German Lost Art Foundation. “The sharing of expertise by the researchers will drive forward international provenance research into this complex topic area in both France and Germany, and open up new viewpoints.”
Hildebrand Gurlitt was one of the dealers who bought works of art in Paris between 1941 and 1944 during the German occupation, often on behalf of Hitler for his planned museum in Linz. A flourishing and dynamic trade sprang up in Paris. The conference will create a thematic focus with the presentation of new research findings on Gurlitt’s acquisitions in France. Clear connections will become apparent to the works from the Gurlitt art trove on display in the exhibition “Gurlitt: Status Report – Nazi Art Theft and its Consequences”, which runs at the same time. “The extensive research carried out as part of the Gurlitt Provenance Research project contributes significantly towards new findings on the Paris art trade and will bring about major advances in knowledge within the provenance research field,” said Dr. Andrea Baresel-Brand, the project director.
The conference was designed, and will be held, in close collaboration with the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris (German Art History Forum Paris) and the Forum Kunst und Markt (Centre for Art Market Studies) at the Technische Universität Berlin.