The Badische Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe, Germany has recently announced that it has identified seven works of art within its collection, that were originally looted by the Nazi’s during World War II. The six paintings and one sculpture had been hidden from public view in one of the museum’s warehouses for the last 70 years. Katharina Siefert, who is the provenance researcher at the museum, established that the works belonged to a Mannheim-based Jewish family. The discovery occurred after a four-year-long audit of the museum’s entire collection. The audit was initiated specifically to look for Nazi looted artworks, reported Die Welt.
The seven works of art were confiscated by the Nazis when the unnamed family moved from Amsterdam back to Mannheim, during the Reich’s power. However, The family in question remains unidentified as Siefert and her team were not able to accurately identify the owners, or the heirs to the works, by name. The art have therefore been entered into the central, LostArt database as Nazi looted art.
The researchers while carrying out their audit in search of art for potential restitution found an artwork ‘Lady in the Theatre Box’ by an unknown artist on a list of so-called “non-arian property”. This led to the subsequent identification of the five landscape paintings and the sculpture that were of questionable provenance.
It was later confirmed that the artworks had been confiscated from a Jewish collection, when a receipt, dated 1943 and signed by then-director of the Karlsruher Kunsthalle, Kurt Martin confirmed as much.
Martin served as an expert for the Third Reich’s Ministry for Art and Museum Objects; being responsible for deciding which works of art came into the museum collection and which were to be put on the market.