Bavarian State Painting Collections
The Bavarian State Painting Collections (German: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen), based in Munich, Germany, oversees artwork held by the Free State of Bavaria. It was established in 1799 as Centralgemäldegaleriedirektion. Artwork includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, video art and installation art. Pieces are on display in numerous galleries and museums throughout Bavaria.
Galleries in Munich
- Alte Pinakothek (Old Picture Gallery)
- Neue Pinakothek (New Picture Gallery)
- Pinakothek der Moderne (Modern Picture Gallery)
- Museum Brandhorst
Galleries outside Munich
- Ansbach | State Gallery in the Residenz
- Aschaffenburg | State Gallery in the Schloss Johannisburg
- Augsburg | State Gallery in the Katharinenkirche
- Augsburg | State Gallery in the Glaspalast
- Bamberg | State Gallery in the New Residence
- Bayreuth | State Gallery in the New Palace
- Burghausen | State Gallery in the Burghausen Castle
- Füssen | State Gallery in the High Castle
- Neuburg an der Donau | State Gallery in the Castle
- Ottobeuren | State Gallery in the Benedictine-Abbey
- Schleißheim Palace | State Gallery in the New Palace
- Tegernsee | Olaf-Gulbransson-Museum in the Kurpark
- Würzburg | State Gallery in the Würzburg Residence
Nazi looted art in Bavarian State Collections
In 2012, the Bavarian State Paintings Collections announced the restitution of a painting from the workshop of Jan Brueghel the Elder to the heirs of Julius Kien of Vienna. Bavaria had acquired it from the collection of Fritz Thyssen.
In 2013, the Bavarian State Painting Collections agreed to return two watercolours by Max Pechstein to the heirs of Professor Curt Glaser, confirming that the auction of his art collection and library were entirely due to Nazi persecution.
In 2016, the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim, a German-Jewish art dealer and collector, sued the German state of Bavaria, arguing in court papers that it has refused to turn over works of art that the heirs say were looted by the Nazis before World War II.
In June 2016, an investigation by Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed that the Bavarian State Museums had "restituted" looted artworks to the families of high ranking Nazis, which the museum denied in a statement that was criticized as "both inaccurate and misleading".
In 2017, the Bavarian State Painting Collections agreed to return a painting of the Raising of Lazarus to the heirs of James von Bleichröder, represented by Mondex Corporation of Toronto, Canada, confirming that the auction of Von Bleichröder's art collection in 1938 was due to Nazi persecution. (footnote to, https://www.pinakothek.de/sites/default/files/downloadable/2020-04/Blog%20Bleichroder_EN_080420.pdf).
In 2019, one of the paintings that Bavaria had "sold" to the family of Hitler's photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann, was returned to the heirs of its original Jewish owners, Gottlieb and Mathilde Kraus, eight decades after it was confiscated by the Gestapo.
In 2019 three museums in Munich returned nine artworks to the heirs of Julius and Semaya Franziska Davidsohn, who were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where Julius died in August 1942 and Semaya died a few months later.
In 2021, the Bavarian State Painting Collections returned a medieval work to the heirs of Drey and his business partners, Ludwig and Friedrich Stern.
In 2021, Munich's Neue Pinakothek restituted Fischerboote bei Frauenchiemsee (1884) by the 19th-century Austrian painter Joseph Wopfner to the heirs of Nuremberg toy manufacturer and art collector Abraham Adelsberger.
In 2021, the Bavarian State Paintings Collections refused to allow Germany's national tribunal that reviews claims of art lost in the Nazi era to review the case of Picasso's Madame Soler, which the family of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy had claimed. "It is simply inexplicable that the state should refuse to use a mediation mechanism it established itself", said Hans-Jürgen Papier, the commission's chairman and a former president of Germany's constitutional court.
- List of claims for restitution for Nazi-looted art
- Ernst Buchner (curator)
- Maria Almas-Dietrich
- Hildebrand Gurlitt
- Munich Central Collecting Point
- "Restitution to the heirs of Julius Kien of a floral still-life from the workshop of Jan Brueghel the Elder by the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- "Restitution of a floral still-life from the workshop of Jan Brueghel the Elder by the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen 10 July 2012". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- "Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen restitute two watercolors by Max Pechstein from the Curt Glaser Collection and a painting by N.V. Díaz de la Peña from the George Behrens Collection". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- "A Just and Fair Solution Reached by Bayerische Staats and Professor Curt Glaser Heirs" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- Bowley, Graham (6 December 2016). "Jewish Dealer's Heirs File Suit Over Art in Bavarian State Collection". The New York Times.
- "Bavaria sued over Nazi-looted artworks". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
- "Munich's Looted Art Bazaar". www.lootedart.com. Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Archived from the original on 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
The Monuments Men tracked down Nazi looted art. Only for German museum directors to return it to the families of the Nazi leaders rather than to the Jewish families who were its rightful owners.
- Carvajal, Doreen; Smale, Alison (2016-07-15). "Nazi Art Loot Returned ... to Nazis". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
- "Bavaria Kept Nazi-Looted Art in Museums". Artnet News. 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
- "Return of artworks by Bavarian government and museums to high-ranking Nazi families: 29 June 2016: Commission for Looted Art in Europe issues its response to the Bavarian State Paintings Collections statement on return-sales to high-ranking Nazi families". 2019-05-02. Archived from the original on 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
In response to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung article 'Munich's Looted Art Bazaar' of 25 June and the Commission for Looted Art's Press Release of 27 June, the Bavarian State Paintings Collections (Bayerische Staatsgemaeldsammlungen, BSGS) issued a statement on 28 June attempting to refute the facts set out in both documents. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE) has today issued a full response showing that the BSGS statement is both inaccurate and misleading. The BSGS statement, which makes no mention of the victims of Nazi looting, and refers to provenance research as "tedious", further confirms the concerns expressed by families and the press across the world over the last few days, and underlines the need for root and branch reform in the way research and restitution are carried out in Germany, so that justice becomes fully available.
- Waxman, Olivia B. (21 March 2019). "Looted by Nazis, Recovered, Sold Back to Hitler's Photographer's Daughter—How One Painting Got Back to Its Rightful Owners". Time. Archived from the original on 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2021-05-21 – via www.lootedart.com.
According to documentation received by the Commission in 2011, the Bavarian State Paintings Collection had sold the painting in 1962 for 300 German Deutsche Marks. The buyer? Henriette Hoffmann-von Schirach, Heinrich Hoffmann's daughter and the wife of Baldur von Schirach, the Hitler Youth leader who became the Nazi governor of Vienna and oversaw the deportation of the city's Jews. Henriette, it turned out, had requested and was granted several works from her father's collection.
- "New Report Reveals Munich Museums Sold Artworks Looted by Nazis". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
- "Munich Museums Restitute Nazi-Looted Artworks". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2020-06-24. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
The works—five paintings, three prints, and a wooden panel with ivory reliefs—were confiscated from the couple's apartment in Munich in 1938 and found their way into the collections of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, the Bavarian National Museum, and the State Collections of Prints and Drawings in 1955. When the Davidsohns were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where Julius died in August 1942 and Semaya died a few months later, in April 1943, the works ended up at a collecting point at Munich's Königsplatz before they were acquired by the museums.
- "The Bavarian State Painting Collections Has Returned a Medieval Work Unlawfully Sold by Nazis to Its Rightful Heirs". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2021-05-10. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
A.S. Drey's gallery partners, which included the Sterns, as well as Franz and Paul Drey, were all of Jewish heritage. In 1935, the Reich chamber of fine arts announced that their Munich art gallery would be dissolved. The dealers were then required to pay a massive sum and punitive taxes, which forced them to consign several works from their holdings, including the wooden panel of Saint Florian. It was bought by the Bavarian state in 1936.
- Solomon, Tessa (2021-06-01). "German State Returns 19th-Century Painting Looted by Nazis". ARTnews.com. Archived from the original on 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
- Hickley, Catherine (2021-06-08). "Was This Picasso Lost Because of the Nazis? Heirs and Bavaria Disagree". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-06-08. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
- Die Pinakothek
- "Nazi Art Loot Returned ... to Nazis"
- "Bavarian Parliament Will Investigate Claims Looted Art Was Returned to Nazis"
- German Lost Art Foundation