Wednesday, April 20, 2016

They May Not Know Art, but They Know What They Like

Audio:  Part I           Part II

Art, Nazis, Spies Argentina, the Vatican... a story worthy of Hollywood.

...A recent disclo­sure that one Cornelius Gurlitt had many millions of dollars worth of art stashed in what was described as his “dingy” Munich apartment has produced a number of interesting points of inquiry. The art appears to have been a portion of Nazi plunder accumulated during World War II by Cornelius’ father Gurlitt.

It turned out that Cornelius Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand had sold artworks for Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to generate hard currency for the Third Reich.
“Report of Nazi-Looted Trove Puts Art World in an Uproar” by Alison Smale; The New York Times; 11/5/2013.
. . . . If confirmed, the discovery would be one of the biggest finds of vanished art in years. But word of it left almost equally big questions unanswered: Why did the German authorities let nearly two years pass before such a sizable find was disclosed? What will become of the recovered works of art? Did Mr. [Cornelius] Gurlitt continue to make sales even after the raid? And where is he today? . . . 
. . . . Yet he [Hildebrand Gurlitt] was also one of the few Germans granted permission by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, to sell confiscated art. Sales to foreign buyers were meant to fill Nazi coffers, but art historians have documented many sales in Germany, as well as proceeds pocketed by the dealers involved. . . . (more...)

You thought art galleries were boring, high-brow wastes of space?

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