Objects from the Upper Austrian Provincial Museums
The Upper Austrian Provincial Museums have been carrying out provenance research since 1999. After an initial internal report had been compiled in the year 2000, the University of Linz was commissioned to carry out a research project on the subject of looted art and restitution in Upper Austria. Upon conclusion of the project, numerous objects were restituted; objects of unknown origin were published on the homepage and in a separate publication.
The Upper Austrian Provincial Museums have now conveyed to the National Fund a list of art and cultural objects in order that they may be included in the art database. These objects mainly consist of objects that the Provincial Museum had taken over from the holdings of the American Collecting Point Administration in the early 1950s. The paintings concerned originally belonged to the holdings of the Special Commission Linz and for the most part had been acquired through the German art trade. Additionally, drawings were published which had been brought to the Provincial Museum by the local Gestapo in 1939.
The objects can be found in the catalogue under categories oil paintings and mixed technique. By publishing these objects in the art database, the Upper Austrian Provincial Museums hope to receive information as to possible previous owners.
The Institute for Social and Economic History at the Johannes Kepler University Linz was commissioned with the project, led by university professor Dr. Michael John. He was assisted by university assistant Dr. Birgit Kirchmayr (Institute for Recent and Contemporary History, Johannes Kepler University) and Dr. Friedrich Buchmayr (library of the St. Florian Monastery).
Director: Peter Assmann
Provenance Researche at the Vienna University Library
Mag. Markus Stumpf, MSc
In 2004, the Vienna University Library was the first university library in Austria to set up a provenance research project. Although its holdings are not subject to the Art Restitution Law, the University Library Vienna decided to operate along the lines of this Law. From 2004 to 2008, a research project at the Main Library investigated and processed these dubious acquisitions; from 2006 to 2010, the specialized and institute libraries were reviewed with a second project team.
In total, around 400,000 volumes of the Vienna University Library were examined and dubious holdings were recorded. Several restitutions have already occurred since 2009. These can be viewed by searching the Online-Katalog of the Vienna University Library.
Further information can be found on the Website.
The Austrian National Library restitutes Seized Books to the National Fund of the Republic of Austria
On 1st June 2010, during a commemorative ceremony at the Austrian National Library, the National Fund symbolically accepted three of 8,363 books seized during the National Socialist era, the previous owners of which were, despite intensive research, no longer able to be determined.
During its 48th session on 11th September 2009, the Art Restitution Advisory Board for the first time recommended that these publications, which had remained heirless, be transferred to the National Fund in order that they could be utilized appropriately.
The objects subject of the recommendation are so called ownerless publications which had come into the possession of the Austrian National Library via the Gestapo (Secret State Police).
After the ceremonial transfer, the books were repurchased by the National Library for 135,000 Euros. The proceeds from these one-time looted books will be used to benefit survivors of the Holocaust in accordance with the provisions of the National Fund Law. The books will remain in the holdings of the National Library; however the origins of the books will be indicated in the catalogue (Report and photos of the ceremonial handover).
- Decision: Prints from the Austrian National Library of unknown provenance
(see also www.provenienzforschung.gv.at)
- Supplement A (list of prints)
- Supplement B (list of prints)