October 25, 2011
German casino returns Nazi-looted painting
A German casino has returned a Nazi-looted painting to the heirs of a German-Jewish art gallery owner.
The return of “The Masters of the Goldsmith Guild in Amsterdam in 1701” by Dutch portrait painter Juriaen Pool II (1665-1745), took place Tuesday at the Amsterdam Museum.
The beneficiaries of the estate of Max Stern, who ran a gallery in Germany before he was forced by the Nazis to liquidate his works, are Concordia, McGill and Hebrew universities.
The Pool painting, which depicts some of Amsterdam’s most important citizens, is the ninth Nazi-looted piece of artwork to be returned to the university heirs. It had been with the Stern Gallery in Dusseldorf as late as 1937 when it moved to the Heinemann Gallery in Wiesbaden. In the years after World War II it was acquired by a casino in southern Germany and has been there ever since.
Stern liquidated his gallery’s works of more than 400 pieces after Jews were banned from selling art. In 1943, after recovering a fraction of the works, Stern moved to Canada and purchased the Dominion Gallery of Fine Arts.
Following Stern’s death in 1987, the beneficiary universities in association with the Holocaust Claims Processing Office in New York founded the Max Stern Art Restitution Project to locate and recover works from Stern’s collection.
The artist Pool lived in the 17th century building that houses the Dutch museum, which once was an orphanage.