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Fateful Choices: Art from the Gurlitt Trove

Edited by Shlomit Steinberg

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Bilingual English-Hebrew edition

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In 2012, a collection of more than 1,200 artworks that were regarded as lost was discovered in a nondescript apartment in a district of Munich. They belonged to the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, an art expert, gallery owner, and dealer who was involved in the sale of artworks confiscated by the Nazi regime, and who also acquired works for the Third Reich in the later years of the war. Some 100 items from this eclectic trove – including works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Kokoschka, as well as 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings, Rococo pastels, and 19th-century portraits – were displayed in this 2019 exhibition. Exploring the story of the complex personality behind the collection, the exhibition offered the public –including survivors and the descendants of Holocaust victims – the opportunity to see the works and reaffirmed the Museum’s engagement with the question of lost and looted art. With an illustrated catalogue and an album of highlights, the publication presents research conducted by an international task force to investigate the provenance of the artworks in the hope of restituting as many as possible to their rightful owners.

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