The New York Times
Reclaimed reveals the remarkable legacy of Jacques Goudstikker, a preeminent Jewish art dealer in Amsterdam whose vast collection of masterpieces was almost lost forever to the Nazi practice of looting cultural properties. Between the two World Wars, Goudstikker's impressive and historically important collection rose to international acclaim. This exhibition presents rarely-seen Old Master paintings-including Dutch Old Master works and Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings-recently restituted to Goudstikker's family.
Forced to flee the Netherlands with his family in May 1940 immediately after the Nazi invasion, Goudstikker died in a tragic accident while escaping. He left behind approximately 1,400 works of art in his gallery, the bulk of which were looted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. After the war, over 200 of Goudstikker's paintings were found by the Allies in Germany and returned to the Dutch government to be restituted to the rightful owner. Unfortunately, that was not accomplished, and they remained in the Dutch national collection.
The small black notebook he used meticulously to inventory his collection was found with Goudstikker at the time of his death, and later became a crucial piece of evidence in the battle to reclaim his art. In February 2006, Goudstikker's family successfully reclaimed 200 artworks from the Dutch government in one of the largest restitutions of Nazi-looted art.
The returned masterpieces, alongside photographs and documents relating to Goudstikker's life, provide an intimate perspective and an opportunity to reflect on the consequences of Nazi looting. This exhibition brings to light Jacques Goudstikker's extraordinary story and celebrates the historic restitution of the artworks to the rightful heir.
Jacques Goudstikker's inventory notebook,
Open: approx. 7 x 9 in. (17.8 x 22.9 cm)
Amsterdam City Archives
Jacques Goudstikker's Gallery business card
Approximately 4 x 6 in. (10 x 15 cm)
Amsterdam City Archives, Arch. 1341. inv. nr. 54
Jan Josefsz van Goyen
View of the Oude Maas near Dordrecht, 1651
Oil on panel
26 1/4 x 38 1/4 in. (66.7 x 97 cm)
Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht
Salomon Jacobsz van Ruysdael
River Landscape with Ferry, 1649
Oil on panel
37 5/8 x 52 1/2 in. (99.5 x 133.5 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Patron's Permanent Fund and the Lee
and Juliet Folger Fund. This acquisition
was made possible through the generosity
of the family of Jacques Goudstikker, in
his memory. 2007.116.1