Heirs of Jewish Art Gallery Owner Recover Painting Lost While Fleeing Nazis
The heirs of a Jewish art dealer announced Tuesday the recovery of a painting lost when their patriarch was forced to flee the Nazis some 75 years ago, Concordia University wrote on its website.
“Scandinavian Landscape,” an 1837 painting by Andreas Achenbach, was one of the paintings hanging in Max Stern’s Dusseldorf art gallery when he was informed that, as a Jew, he could no longer practice his profession. Forced to sell the works, he fled the country in 1938, making his way to Canada where he again became a renowned gallery owner.
The work was set to be auctioned by Germany’s Van Ham Fine Art Auctions until researchers at a German government-supported agency that runs the Lost Art Internet Database identified the work as an exact match for a Stern painting listed with Interpol, Concordia University’s website wrote.
According to Concordia, “The Holocaust Claims Processing Office (HCPO) in the New York State Department of Financial Services, a partner in the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, contacted Van Ham and worked closely with the auction house to resolve the matter.”
Stern died in 1987 without children, leaving the bulk of his estate to three universities: Concordia and McGill, in Montreal, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Bloomberg News said that “in 2002, the colleges began a campaign to recover the lost art, creating the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, administered by Concordia.”
They have recovered 11 of the estimated 400 works Stern was forced to sell.