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Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker

March 15, 2009 - August 2, 2009


" extraordinary, continuing tale of looting and restitution."
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.

Goudstikker exhibition: Jacques Goudstikker's inventory notebook, the Blackbook

Jacques Goudstikker's inventory notebook,
the Blackbook
Open: approx. 7 x 9 in. (17.8 x 22.9 cm)
Amsterdam City Archives

Flip through the pages >

J. Goudstikker's gallery business card in this exhibition about the restitution of Nazi looted art

Jacques Goudstikker's Gallery business card
Approximately 4 x 6 in. (10 x 15 cm)
Amsterdam City Archives, Arch. 1341. inv. nr. 54

Goudstikker exhibition: Jan Josefsz van Goyen

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

Goudstikker exhibition: Salomon Jacobsz van Ruysdael

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

Reclaimed: Paintings in the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker Exhibition Catalogue
Buy theCatalogue

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Jan Josefsz van Goyen
Detail of 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

The exhibition was originally organized by Peter C. Sutton, Director and CEO of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut.

This exhibition is sponsored by Thomas S. Kaplan; the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; and Herrick, Feinstein LLP.

Generous support was provided by Hanni and Peter Kaufmann; an anonymous donor in memory of Curtis Hereld; Fanya Gottesfeld Heller; Melvin R. Seiden; the Alfred J. Grunebaum Memorial Fund; Carol and Lawrence Saper; and other donors.

Herrick Claims Conference

Online exhibition text is drawn from the exhibition catalogue, Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker, published by Yale University Press.


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