Investigation into the provenance of museum collections in connection with the theft, confiscation and sale of objects under duress between 1933 and 1945.

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Proun P23, no. 6

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Collectie Van Abbemuseum, foto Peter Cox, Eindhoven

Proun P23, no. 6

Artist/ Creator
El Lissitzky
Proun P23, no. 6
Tempera on canvas
65,9 x 80,9 cm
TMS 2311


Van Abbemuseum


The identity of the owner of this work when it was sold in the United States is no longer known, as is the way it came to be in the Bildingsinstitut Hellerau collection.


Dr Alois Schardt, a German museum director and curator of modern (entartete) art, emigrated to the United States in 1938. The records at Van Abbemuseum show that Schardt exhibited the work in 1924-1925 in a permanent presentation of modern art at Bildungsinstitut Hellerau. The museum record lists Alois Schardt as the owner in 1933. Key questions, such as how the painting came to be in the United States and who owned it at that time remain unanswered, even after further investigation in the Schardt archive at the Getty Institute, California, USA.

Reconstruction origin

1923/1925 <> ?
Bildungsinstitut Hellerau (collection), Hellerau

Museum inventory

1933 <> ?
Alois Schardt (collection), Germany/United States

Museum inventory; see Finarte cat., Milan, 21 November 1961, no. 46 (ill.) (provenance: ‘A. Cchadt - Berlin’)

? <> ?
Sidney Janis Gallery (art dealer), New York

Museum inventory; Finarte cat., Milan, 21 November 1961, no. 46 (ill.)

Finarte (auction), Milan

Finarte cat., Milan, 21 November 1961, no. 46 (ill.)

1961 <> 1997
Estorick family (collection), London

Museum inventory; RKD: BD 0954 – BUI/Schilder-tekenkunst/Rusland

Purchased by the museum from Estorick heirs through mediation by Grosvenor Gallery

Museum inventory

1997 <> present day
Van Abbemuseum