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Displaying items by tag: jacques goudstikker

The US Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum in the case of the ownership of Lucas Cranach the Elder's paintings "Adam" and "Eve" (both circa 1530). The artworks originally belonged to Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, who in 1940 was forced to flee the Netherlands following the Nazi invasion.

The case, which has been in federal court since 2007, was originally dismissed in the museum's favor in 2012. Goudstikker's daughter-in-law, Marei Von Saher, got a second chance last June, when a judge ruled that the pursuit of her claims did not conflict with US federal policy (see Norton Simon's Nazi-Looted Adam and Eve to Head Back to Court).

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The recently released movie "The Monuments Men" tells of Hitler's attempt to steal or destroy Europe's greatest works of art, and the men FDR sent into harm's way to stop him. Thousands of works of art and many masterpieces were recovered and returned to their rightful owners. Yet today, seven decades after the fall of the Third Reich, other stolen works of art—some from owners who perished in the Holocaust—hang in museums in Europe and in America.

In the U.S., for instance, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., is fighting a claim by Marei von Saher, heir of Jewish Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, whose collection was forcibly sold to the Nazis in 1940. The works in question are 16th-century oil paintings by Lucas Cranach. The museum has denied Ms. von Saher's claim on grounds that the statute of limitations on looted art has run out.

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Monday, 15 July 2013 17:50

Rijksmuseum Buys Early Painting of America

The Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands has purchased one of the earliest depictions of America in the history Western art. Discovery America by the Dutch Renaissance painter Jan Mostaert (circa 1475—1555/56) was created between 1525 and 1540 and features a made-up scene of Spanish aggressors firing cannons and rifles at indigenous people who are armed with bows and arrows.

Discovery America, which is also known as Episode from the Conquest of America, was one of 202 paintings returned to the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer whose collection was plundered by the Nazis. Following World War II, the painting was displayed in the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem until Goudstikker’s heirs demanded that the work be handed over to the family in 2006. Goudstikker’s daughter-in-law approached the Rijksmuseum about purchasing the painting earlier this year. Nathan and Simon Dickinson Gallery, which has headquarters in New York and London, brokered the sale. The gallery had brought the painting to the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht in March where they asked $14 million for the masterpiece.    

Discovery America’s importance is bolstered by the fact that it is one of the oldest Dutch paintings mentioned in the definitive Dutch art history book, Het Schilder-boeck from 1605.

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