Posts Tagged ‘art’
The Swiss museum that was given Nazi-era art has already admitted that at least one of is expensive pieces of art was stolen from Jews.
As reported here last week, Cornelius Gurlitt, whose father dealt with art in the Nazi era, left his collection of art to the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, which agreed with Germany and the state of Bavaria last week that it would take possession of the works in the Gurlitt collection, except for those that are suspected of having been looted.
The museum published the list of its “Salzburg collection” on Thursday and later admitted that the “Paris Kathedrale” probably is the Picasso work of art from 1902 and which was stolen from Jews by the Nazis.
“We ourselves recognized that this is looted art,” museum director Matthias Frehner said on Friday. He promised that “we will do our utmost to arrange for a swift restitution.”
Some 1,400 works were confiscated from Gurlitt’s Munich home in 2012 in the course of an investigation for tax evasion. Other works were subsequently found in Gurlitt’s second home in Salzburg, Austria.
Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told The New York Times, ” Just a little bit of hunting and pecking, and things immediately surfaced. This underscores the necessity for the research, and it shows us why the transparency is so important.”Jewish Press News Briefs
What does the child of Brooklyn Syrian Jews have in common with Manhattan glitterati on a freezing cold night in an Upper East Side mansion?
Diamonds and other stones. Art and design.
This past week New York’s top interior designers gathered in a house on East 63rd Street and Fifth Avenue to celebrate the season and raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Among the artists whose creations were requested by designers who contributed their skills to the cause was sculptor Robin Antar. Her work had been noticed by designer Michael Tavano during a show at the Waterfall Mansion, where some of her other pieces are still on display.
Tavano removed her “detached retina” from that show for the room he created at Holiday House NYC. The event shows off the best in interior design and holiday entertaining, and is open to the public from now until December 21. Tavano’s eye-catching room was packed on opening night.
Few of those in their suits and evening gowns at the gala, however, realized the petite Antar wielded a jackhammer and a seven-inch diamond blade saw to carve the stone for her larger-than-life-size sculpture.
“I did it just before I went into surgery for a detached retina,” Antar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. “It was my interpretation of vision.”
But Antar takes the long view in her art. She began her love affair with stone carving as a Brooklyn teenager and created as her first piece a graceful alabaster swan which she has kept in the family collection.
She is also known for the sleek silver Sephardic Torah cases she creates. Not one is left sitting on a shelf unused. The first was cast from a mold formed from a limestone sculpture of a prayer shawl draped on two “shoulders” of the Western Wall.
Little did she know that some day she would use that same mold as the basis for a one-of-a-kind tribute to her youngest son that only an artist mother could produce – sadly, for a tombstone. Antar’s son passed away last year at age 26 of a drug overdose after years of struggling to overcome emotions from early childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a daycare operator. Two more sons — a married businessman and an artist with a special flare for color and design — carry on the family traditions.
Salt from the tears that were shed for the life cut short eventually was poured (in a virtual sense) into unique semi-precious salt cellars she now creates for the light and joy of the Sabbath table. Antar had a huge pile of stone chips left over from other sculptures carved from stone such as blue onyx, rose alabaster and honeycomb calcite, and “didn’t want to waste them,” she says. What began as an experiment is now functional art for the interiors market, with those and larger table bowls both much in demand.
But her pride and joy is the Realism in Stone series, she says; a line of art she calls the “virtual record of contemporary culture” in America.
“I ask myself, ‘Will a bottle of Heinz ketchup really exist in another hundred years?’ and then I begin to see the product emerge from the stone,” Antar explains. Different sculptures are carved from different types of stone, depending on what she is creating – but all require heavy power tools that demand precision in their use.
“You cannot do this work without the right equipment,” Antar warns. “Don’t even THINK of starting to carve stone without a face mask for breathing, and especially not without goggles to protect your eyes.”Hana Levi Julian
Yehuda Poltzak is an artist from the Hareidi town of Beitar. He creates Judaica artifacts that decorate the homes and sukkahs of rabbis and community leaders. His creations require months of work.Photo of the Day
German investigators have determined that an art collection that belonged to a Munich collector was stolen from French Jews during the Second World War.
According to an Associated Press report, the paintings were found in an apartment belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt, son of famed art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who was known to have worked with the Nazis. The younger Gurlitt died in May, a short while after agreeing to cooperate with the German government for Nazi links to his collection. For years, he had sworn that he had come to the paintings honestly.
”Even if it could not be documented with certainty under what circumstances Hildebrand Gurlitt came into the possession of the work, the task force comes to the conclusion that it is Nazi-looted art from the rightful property of the collection of Paul Rosenberg,” said the task force’s head, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, in a statement.
German authorities had confiscated the collection, which includes nearly 1,300 paintings, from Gurlitt’s home in 2012. They believe that at least one painting , “Woman Sitting in an Armchair” (Henri Matisse, 1921) was stolen from Jewish art dealer Paul Rosenberg when the Nazis invaded Paris in 1940. In that event, the BBC reported that German authorities believe the painting should be restored to Rosenberg’s heirs.Meir Halevi Siegel
Two artworks hanging in Germany’s parliament building in Berlin may have been confiscated or acquired at artificially depressed prices by the Nazis from the original owners, German newspapers reported.
The Die Welt newspaper suggested that one of the works coincidentally stems from a gallery owned by an uncle of Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazi-era dealer whose huge collection was discovered in the Munich apartment of his elderly son, Cornelius Gurlitt, in 2012 and revealed to the world two months ago.
The Bundestag has responded in a statement that it is looking into the matter. Meanwhile, Die Welt said the Bundestag’s eight-member art advisory council – which includes the German president – already had determined that neither work was so-called “Raubkunst,” art plundered from occupied countries.
The two works in question reportedly are a large-format 1905 oil painting by Georg Waltenberger titled “Chancellor Bülow speaks in the Reichstag,” and a 1918 Lovis Corinth lithograph, “A street in Königsberg.” While the former is hanging in a hallway, the latter is kept out of natural light.
Die Welt reported that the lithograph was printed by the Berlin gallery of Fritz Gurlitt, an uncle of collector Hildebrand Gurlitt.
Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Bild newspaper that the Bundestag should make its collection public and assist investigators in reconnecting possible heirs with long-lost property. Over the years, the Bundestag has returned several works to heirs.
Of the 4,000 works in the German parliament’s collection, about 700 are said to date from before the end of World War II.JTA
German authorities have bowed to international pressure and are publishing a partial list of artworks found in a Munich apartment. The spectacular art find – including works by Chagall, Picasso, Matisse and Beckmann – was publicized by the Munich-based Focus magazine earlier this month.
Officials are assembling a “task force” of experts to speed up provenance research. Heading the team will be German attorney Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, former Assistant Secretary to the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media.
Customs investigators last year seized the paintings, sketches and sculptures, dating from the 16th century to the modern period but stayed silent until now because they had chanced upon the art during a tax evasion probe, which compels secrecy.
The secrecy and the failure so far to publish a complete list of the works has attracted criticism from those who argue that publicizing such finds is crucial to establishing their ownership and returning them to their rightful owners.
Out of a total of more than 1,400 works, an initial list of 25 with photos went online Monday and the website was promptly overwhelmed with hits. The list may help those who are trying to reunite long-lost art with their rightful heirs.JTA