Posts Tagged ‘Jaques’
Restitution Issue: Norton Simon Museum
Adam and Eve, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in c. 1530, are a pair of panel paintings currently on view in Pasadena, at the Norton Simon Museum. There hasn’t been an update on the painted pair since October, but the ownership of the Adam and Eve remains an unresolved dispute. Marei Von Saher is the daughter-in-law of Jacques Goudstikker, a previous owner of the Adam and Eve. During the 1940s, Goudstikker fled Holland and was forced to sell the panels to the Nazis under duress. The issue of restitution would seem clear if this case was that simple. A questionable, century-long provenance and a legal tangle both complicate the case. Let’s explore.
Norton Simon bought the Cranach panels from George Stroganoff-Scherbatoff , a Russian, in 1971. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff was the heir of an aristocratic family who claimed to have owned the paintings prior to 1917. Stroganoff-Scherbatoff received/bought the paintings from the Dutch Government in a restitution agreement in 1966. The Dutch Government was restituted the paintings (remember Goudstikker fled Holland during WWII) after WWII. The Nazis forced Goudstikker to sell them in the 1940s. Goudstikker had bought the paintings from the Soviet government at an auction in 1931. The Russian government had confiscated Adam and Eve from the family of Stroganoff-Scherbatoff prior to 1917. Seems like a resolved case of restitution: Russian heir gets stolen paintings back and then sells them to a collector (Norton Simon).