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Nazi Era Provenance Research Project OverviewShare

In October of 2000, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States (PCHA) agreed upon a standard procedure for presenting provenance information on Nazi-Era objects to the public. For full citation of these procedures, AAM Recommended Procedures for Providing Information to the Public about Objects Transferred in Europe during the Nazi Era, see http://www.aam-us.org.

In compliance with the AAM criteria, The Jewish Museum is researching the provenance, or history of ownership for paintings and Judaica that fall within the following criteria:

  • Acquired after 1932
  • Created before 1946
  • Which may have changed hands between 1932–1946
  • Which may have been in continental Europe during those years

This site will be updated in installments as new information is discovered and documentation and images are digitized. Currently, the information presented on this website includes paintings and Judaica with gaps in provenance as well as paintings and Judaica with complete provenance. As always, the Museum's archival collection records are open to serious researchers by appointment. For any information or queries about this Provenance Research Project list, please see Contact Information.

We hope that this material will be helpful in the identification and restitution of works of art that may have been misappropriated during the Nazi-Era. The Museum also welcomes any provenance related information that the users of this site may be able to provide.

Methodology:

As the works are identified, they are physically examined for markings that would be helpful in determining provenance. The documentation of these works are verified using the following methods:

Artist/Maker: When no signature appears on the work, primary resources are used to identify the maker. If a definitive answer is unavailable the artist/maker is referred to as "Unknown."

Title and title variations: Primary titles and known original language or alternate titles are listed.

Execution date: Whenever possible, the execution date of the painting is taken directly from the physical work. If the date does not appear in the artist's hand on the work, the artist's life dates along with an examination of his body of work are used to determine an approximate date. An execution date determined in this manner will appear in parentheses. Example: (1946)

Medium: Physical examination determined this criteria.

Dimensions: Dimensions listed on this web-site refer to unframed measurements posted as height followed by width.

Signature, hallmarks, inscriptions, markings, and labels: Notes referring to signatures, hallmarks, inscriptions, markings, and labels are prefaced by the location such as, BR (bottom right) and followed by the implement used to create the mark.

Provenance: Many of the works in the collection were acquired directly from descendants of the artists or have been passed down through multiple generations of one family. It is important to keep in mind that a gap in provenance does not necessarily mean a work was looted or stolen.

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