Provenance research in the museum

During the last years the Municipal Museum of Leipzig searched for Nazi-confiscated cultural property in different areas of the collection. It is therefore known that the collection contains objects of “suspicious” origin, which is especially true for artworks in the art and crafts collection area. Promoted by the German Lost Art Foundation the museum will systematically examine this collection area to identify cultural objects that have been stolen by the Nazis.

Artworks were acquired by the museum through donations, purchases in auctions, transfers or art swaps, which makes an examination of the procurements between 1933 to 1945 necessary. The respective objects have only seldomly been documented properly, so that only a few biographies and previous owners are known.

Initially the paintings and sculptures, as well as graphics (watercolours, drawings) will be examined, so the provenance of in total 325 artworks will be ascertained systematically. Local art dealers and municipal offices will be investigated in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying relationships and structures.

There is need for action to deal comprehensively with the acquisitions and donations from the art gallery by Curt Naubert in Leipzig or the auction house Hans Klemm. These are companies that were involved in the Nazi robbery of cultural property and thus there is reason to believe that some of the corresponding artworks were originally confiscated by the Nazis.

Important results of the research project will be published on the museums website. In the collection database, the newly determined provenances are documented in detail. At the conclusion of the project a publication with the research findings will be issued.


Lina Frubrich
Provenance research
Phone: 0341 9 65 13 42