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Grant number: FT-59686-12

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Elizabeth Campbell Karlsgodt
University of Denver (Denver, CO 80208-0001)

Museum Worthy: Nazi-Era Art in Postwar France

During the German occupation of France from 1940 to 1944, thousands of artworks streamed into the Third Reich, the result of Nazi looting of Jewish collections and a booming art market in Paris. After the war, Allied forces occupying western Germany returned to France more than sixty thousand objects. By 1949, some fifteen thousand works of art had not been claimed by Jewish survivors or heirs. Over the next five years, the French government established a guardianship over the 2000 most prestigious works, distributing them to museums throughout France, and sold the rest at auction. "Museum Worthy" examines the origins and ethics of the ongoing guardianship, uncovering the factors that led the postwar French government to abandon restitution efforts and pursue a policy of appropriation.

Project fields:
European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2012 – 9/30/2012