Saturday 24 October 2015

"Provenance Research" in the Shadow of the Leutwitz Apollo

"Leutwitz" Apollo, collection history:
"missed by the Nazis", "missed by
the Red Army", "missed by DDR art
historians", ended up with the Aboutaams.
Cleveland Museum of Art got a generous grant from the National Endowment from the Arts to organize a conference: 'Issues in Provenance Research' Saturday, October 24, 2015, 10:00-5:00 p.m.
museums and other art world institutions have increasingly recognized the importance of conducting provenance research on their own collections and on works of art that otherwise pass through their hands. More and more museums are dedicating resources to due diligence research, and a handful of US museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, have created positions devoted specifically to this task. Still, much work remains to be done, as looted art is newly uncovered and previously unavailable primary source documents come to light, requiring the art world to approach provenance research as an ongoing and dynamic undertaking.
Yes like their very own Apollo (the "Leutwitz Apollo") where the documents casting severe doubt on the collecting history they want to foist on the world were in existence at the time they bought it (see here and especially here 'Leutwitz Apollo (9): Dr Marinescu Spills the Beans' ). It really is the utmost hypocrisy to organize this event precisely here when the issues raised by their own claims about how a premier object in their collection actually "surfaced' on the market, and where. As they say:
"World War II-era provenance research is particularly complicated because of the potential for claims and the intricacies involved in such cases, and because museums, auction houses, and collectors may not have the resources (or the interest) necessary to sufficiently confront the issues"
Interest seems to me to be the key word here. Nobody in the Museum is interested in showing that their own collecting history for this high profile object is gaping full of holes. They were, weren't they, going to organize a symposium this year on the statue and its provenance. Plans for that seem to have been swept under the carpet.

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