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Coverage for grant HG-50021-10

German Sales 1930-1945: Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy
Thomas Gaehtgens, Getty Research Institute

Grant details:

Nazi Era Art Auction and Dealers Records Go Public (Media Coverage)
Author(s): ArtLyst Staff Writers
Publication: ArtLyst, London-based Online International Arts Information Network
Date: 1/25/2013
Abstract: This article announces a new digital database resource of approximately 250,000 art sales records from over 2,000 German auction catalogs, dating from 1930 –1945 that was developed by the Getty Research Institute (GRI), and made available to the public in an open access format in January 2013. The data records focus on Nazi era art auctions and art dealers, and comprise the content of the new GRI “German Sales” database, which is accessible through the Getty Provenance Index®. The ingested sales catalogues were originally published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other German-occupied countries between 1930 and 1945.They included art objects looted and sold under Nationalist Socialist cultural policy leading to and during World War II. The catalogues are important for establishing the provenance of ownership for individual objects, and are a rich primary source for historians of Western art.

Getty Research Institute launches database of German art sales records from 1930-1945 (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jose Villarreal
Publication: ArtDaily
Date: 1/27/2013
Abstract: Article announcing the new German Sales database created by the Getty Research Institute, which provides free public access to approximately 250,000 art sale records from more than 2,000 German auction catalogs dating from 1930–1945. These art sale records are now part of the Getty Provenance Index® databases, which currently contain close to 1.5 million records taken from source material such as archival inventories, auction catalogs, and dealer stock books. The newly digitized art sales records are from sales catalogs originally published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and German-occupied territories between 1930 and 1945. They include art objects looted and sold under the cultural policy of the Nationalist Socialist regime.

Nazi-Era Plunder Now Publicly Searchable Thanks to the Getty Research Institute (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Shane Ferro
Publication: BLOUIN ARTINFO Blogs: In The Air
Date: 1/27/2013
Abstract: This is a blog announcement about the public release of a searchable database of sales catalogs records that trace the provenance of old European paintings potentially looted during the Nazi-era. The German Sales database developed by the Getty Research Institute, makes available approximately 250,000 art sale records from auction house catalogs in Nazi-occupied territories between 1930 and 1945. The records are from more than 2,000 primary source sales catalogs, and are freely accessible to the public online. This new resource represents an important step in determining the questionable provenance of numerous works of art. The blog article states that this database that was completed over a period of two years, will likely be an invaluable tool for researching restitution claims.

New Online Resource to Reveal Stories about Nazi-Looted Art: Wartime Art Market (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Annelisa Stephan
Publication: The Getty Iris: The Online Magazine of the Getty
Date: 1/24/2013
Abstract: This article published in The Getty Iris announces the public release of a free online resource of German Sales Catalogs, which is available through the Getty Provenance index®. Six decades after the end of World War II, this new searchable database provides access to over 2,000 newly digitized sales catalogs published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Nazi-German-occupied territories between 1930 and 1945. This resource comes at a time when the provenance of thousands of artworks stolen by the Nazis from Jewish owners and other victims remain unidentified in private collections, museums, libraries, and archives around the world. It is anticipated that this resource will be useful in uniting these artworks with their rightful owners, as well as advancing art historical scholarship.
Link: about-nazi-looted-art-wartime-art-market/

Getty Traces Ownership of Nazi-era Looted Art (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Tom Tugend
Publication: Jewish Journal: Arts
Date: 9/28/2010
Abstract: This article announced the start of the two-year Getty Research Institute (GRI) project “German Sales Catalogs Database,” made possible by a collaborative grant from NEH and the German Research Foundation, and supported by additional funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. The project is discussed with the GRI director, Thomas Gaehtgens, and the project’s managing editor, Christian Huemer, who emphasized that to accomplish this project the GRI combined old-fashioned detective work, modern technology, and the scholarly tools of art history to trace the provenance of artworks. The search for provenance evidence required GRI researchers and their colleagues in Germany to dig through a huge cache of art auction catalogs from the Nazi era. The next step was to digitize the information, categorize it in digital archives and make it available to the general public, particularly to potential heirs of stolen artworks and their representatives.
Link: era_looted_art_20100928/

“Publishing German Sales, A Look under the Hood of the Getty Provenance Index” (Media Coverage)
Author(s): ArtLyst Staff Writers
Publication: The Getty Iris: The Online Magazine of the Getty
Date: 4/17/2013
Abstract: In this online magazine article the writers offer a look behind the scenes of the Getty Provenance Index® at the work involved in the developing content, through a case study of the “German Sales Catalogs” project, which was funded through a collaboration between the Getty Research Institute, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, with support from the VolkswagenStiftung. The German Sales project resulted in adding over a quarter million records of art objects looted and sold under the cultural policy of the Nazi regime. The project brought together auction catalogues from 35 German, Swiss, and Austrian institutions and made them fully searchable online, with a majority of records drawn from the collections of the GRI project partners The Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) of the State Museum of Berlin, and the University Library of Heidelberg.