The Kunstmuseum Bern and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn are simultaneously presenting a selection of items from the “Gurlitt art trove”.
This is a big deal because for the first time, these pieces of art are shown to the public. Here is the backstory: The collection was discovered due to tax investigations in 2012. Then in 2014, Cornelius Gurlitt, who was the son of the German art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, left 1500 works to the Kunstmuseum Bern. It was an unexpected move, and the art museum has been working together with the German Lost Art Foundation to identify the original owners.
The museums are focusing on different aspects of the collection. The exhibition in Bern is showing 160 works which were classified as “Degenerate Art” by the National Socialists. The exhibit examines the political processes and historical events that led to the confiscation and condemnation of modern art. Particular attention is paid to the fate of the blacklisted and prosecuted artists as well as to the life of Hildebrand Gurlitt – in all its contradictions.
In the “Studio Provenane Research”, visitors can discover the methods and the challenges of provenance research. My advice: Do not miss the SRF documentary “Gurlitts Schatten” which is being screened at the exhibition. It gives an insight into the exceptional story of the “Gurlitt art trove”.
When she is not traveling to the nearest and furthest places in the world, she can be found on a Harley, on a mountain or at the opera, ballet or concert hall.