Showing posts with label Paul Rosenberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Rosenberg. Show all posts

July 3, 2014

"The Gurlitt Case -- An Inside View From Christopher A. Marinello, Lawyer and Representative for the Heirs of Paul Rosenberg" presented at ARCA's Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference on June 28

Matisse, Femme Assise,
Paul Rosenberg Archive
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Amelia, Umbria -- Following Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel’s analysis of the legal issues involved in the controversy over the art collection previously in possession of the now deceased Cornelius Gurlitt, Christopher A. Marinello, a lawyer and the founder of Art Recovery International, spoke on representing the heirs of Paul Rosenberg in their efforts to recover Henri Matisse’s painting Femme Assise found in Mr. Gurlitt's Munich apartment and looted from Paul Rosenberg by the Nazis in 1940 (see information regarding the Task Force's decision here).

Chris Marinello discussed the company’s new Art Claim Database, which he said aims to become the world’s largest and technologically advanced private database of stolen, looted, and otherwise tainted works of art.  Based in London, Marinello said he has recovered and resolved title disputes involving over $350 million worth of artwork and offers free services to law enforcement, governments, and non-profit museums.

The heirs of Paul Rosenberg are still searching for 59 of the 400 paintings that were looted from the Paul Rosenberg Gallery in Paris which included works by Picasso, Matisse, and Braque, all close friends of the Jewish dealer. [Information on The Paul Rosenberg Archives housed at The Museum of Modern Art in New York is available here. The family business moved from selling antiques in the late 19th century to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.]

Christopher Marinello in Amelia
Marinello's presentation included details of events after news of the Gurlitt "trove" was released to the public by Focus Magazine in November 2013. Marinello explained how his team of researchers quickly assembled a comprehensive analysis of the Rosenberg claim for the Matisse painting with supporting documentation after an image of Femme Assise appeared in the magazine.

Marinello criticized German authorities in their handling of this most recent discovery of long lost Nazi looted artwork but praised the efforts of the individual researchers who make up the “Task Force” faced with the herculean task of reviewing the provenance of the Gurlitt pictures.  
Despite the fact that German law offered little or no protection to his clients and other heirs of Holocaust claimants, Marinello explained that some of his strategy in the Gurlitt matter included direct contact with Cornelius Gurlitt himself. Marinello said that throughout the discussions that took place with Mr. Gurlitt’s lawyers, he refused to accept anything other that unconditional restitution of the looted Matisse. Marinello said that an unconditional release and restitution agreement negotiated with Mr. Gurlitt’s lawyers in late March was put on hold after an unusual series of events interfered with the execution of that agreement. The upheaval in Gurlitt’s legal team and the Task Force’s consideration of a competing, but ultimately fraudulent claim to the Rosenberg Matisse delayed matters long enough to see the death of the Cornelius Gurlitt, Marinello explained.

In an apparent snub of Bavarian officials, Marinello said, Gurlitt left his pictures to the Kunstmuseum in Bern, Switzerland which has publicly pledged to return all looted works of art to their rightful owners.

Without revealing his current strategy, Marinello explained that he has been in contact with the museum in Bern and the German Probate Court and is confident that the Matisse will be restituted to the Rosenberg heirs in the next few months.

A three-time returning speaker at ARCA, Chris thanked conference organizers for developing a program that allows for spirited intellectual debate of important cultural property issues in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Gurlitt Art Collection: Task force declares Matisse work was stolen from Paul Rosenberg and should be returned to his heirs by the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt in accordance with the principles of the Washington Declaration

Julia Michalska reported for The Art Newspaper on June 11 in "Matisse painting in Gurlitt Hoard was Nazi loot, researchers find" that the painting by Henri Matisse titled Femme Assise (1921) had likely once belonged to Paul Rosenberg, a Jewish art dealer in Paris until the Nazi Occupation in 1940:
Ingeborg Berggreen Merkel, the head of the task force, said in a press statement released today: “Even though it could not be documented with absolute certainty how the work came into [Cornelius Gurlitt’s father] Hildebrand Gurlitt’s possession, the task force has concluded that the work is Nazi loot and was taken from its rightful owner Paul Rosenberg.” Merkel added that the final decision on what will happen to the painting “lies in the hands of the heirs of Cornelius Gurlitt, who, shortly before his death, committed himself to returning looted works in line with the Washington Principles. This commitment also binds his heirs”.
According to the Lost Art Internet Database website, the "Schwabing Art Trove" (named after the neighborhood where Cornelius Gurlitt resided) Task Force is examining the ownership of 590 works that may have been "confiscated" by the Nazis.

Here's a link to the the press release issued in German.

For further information on the Gurlitt case, the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property (1933-1945) you may go here on their website.

November 5, 2013

Gurlitt Art Collection: Granddaughter of the Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg tells CNN she first heard about the found paintings from Focus Magazine last week

Here in an CNN interview with Marianne Rosenberg, the granddaughter of art collector and dealer Paul Rosenberg, the New York art dealer says that she heard from Focus magazine that one of her grandfather's paintings may have been found. Ms. Rosenberg says that she remains "cautious" as "German authorities have said nothing." Last weekend the German magazine Focus published an article in which it claimed that a Matisse previously owned by Paul Rosenberg (Portrait of a Woman) had been found by Bavarian customs officials in 2011. Ms. Rosenberg explains that an archive is maintained of her grandfather's collection.

The Paul Rosenberg Archive describes the Parisian art dealer:

Paul Rosenberg's legendary 'stock' included a rich selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures by Géricault, Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Rodin, Cézanne, Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Lautrec, along with the works by his modern artists, and regularly complemented by works of Henri Rousseau, Aristide Maillol. Odilon Redon and Amedeo Modigliani. His 'stock' from artists in the United States included painting and sculpture by Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Abraham Rattner, Karl Knaths, Harvey Weiss, Oronzio Maldarelli. Both Paul and his son Alexandre also had contracts with Nicolas de Staël and Graham Sutherland. Alexandre Rosenberg was the American representative and close friend of the sculptors Kenneth Armitage and Giacomo Manzù.

Paul Rosenberg opened a new branch of his Paris gallery - managed by his well-known antiquarian brother-in-law Jacques Helft - in London between World War I and World War II. From 1920 until the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, Paul Rosenberg's company was widely acknowledged to be without doubt the most active and influential gallery in the world in the field of 19th and 20th century French painting, specializing in the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Cubist schools, as well as in the developments contemporary to these 'schools'. All of the museums of the Western world and all of the great private collectors became clients of Rosenberg, and his exhibitions became points of reference for the promotion of quality painting.

Having foreseen the imminence of the Second World War, Paul Rosenberg began to send his collections abroad, especially to England, America, Australia and South America and then put a hold on the operations of his Paris galleries. Even prior to his departure from France with his wife and daughter, his many friends in the United States encouraged and assisted his establishment in New York, where the Rosenbergs arrived, via Lisbon, in September of 1940. Rosenberg presence in New York had attracted so much interest that an issue of the Art Digest declared that "When rumor first intimated that Paul Rosenberg, internationally known Paris dealer in modern art, would open a gallery in New York, 57th Street anticipated something akin to a clap of thunder." Throughout the war and after its end, he was able to re-assemble in New York a very large proportion, though not all of his gallery stock and his personal collections. In this way, and almost without interruption or discontinuity, he re-established his gallery in New York and recommenced the activity previously undertaken in Paris.

This New York Times article by Tom Mashberg recounts the negotiations over the provenance of a Matisse painting once owned by Paul Rosenberg and now on display in Oslo.