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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Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

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Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Smallepad 5 3811 MG Amersfoort www.cultureelerfgoed.nl

Investigation results

This museum has 7 objects with a potentially problematic provenance.

Result of this investigation

RCE Cultural Heritage Agency investigated its collection’s provenance thoroughly. Major sections had already been checked before: the NK collection (Netherlands Art Property Collection) of items recovered after the Second World War had been meticulously examined by BHG Provenance Investigation Bureau - the results are published on their website. Fransje Kuyvenhoven investigated the Dutch state’s purchases of mainly twentieth-century art (published in De staat koopt kunst: De geschiedenis van de collection twintigste-eeuwse kunst van het ministerie van OCW 1932-1992, Amsterdam/Leiden, 2007). Kuyvenhoven had investigated acquisitions made in 1940-1948 in 1998-1999 (published in Verwervingen van kunstvoorwerpen door de Staat der Nederlanden in de periode 1940-1948 zoals thans beheerd door het Instituut Collectie Nederland (ICN), a summary of which appears in Museale Verwervingen 1940-1948 van de Nederlandse Museumvereniging, Amsterdam, 2000). This investigation resulted in the return of two artworks to the family of artist Else Berg (1877-1942) who was killed in Auschwitz.

In the current investigation investigators examined RCE Cultural Heritage Agency’s collection registration system, inventory books and annual reports and those of its predecessors. Having examined published sources, investigators checked records at RKD, NIOD (Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies), BHG and at the ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Foreign Affairs (BuiZA). Investigators also interviewed art dealers, donors and artists, and their relatives. Although some items do not have complete provenance, only a few show signs of potential problems. Four were acquired in 1954 by the ministry of Education, Art and Science (OKW) from the ministry of Reconstruction and Housing, which had bought them from NBI (Netherlands property custodian). They may have been confiscated after the war from Dutch Nazis or Germans living in the Netherlands. These are: Frits Mondrian’s Woodland Path in Haagse Bos (missing); C.M. Dijkman’s Mills (at Rijksdienst Rijswijk); Johannes Daniël Scherft’s View of a Church in a Village (at Rijksdienst Rijswijk); A. Huissem’s Landscape (at Rijksdienst Rijswijk). Two nineteenth-century copies of portraits by Peter Paul Rubens of burgomaster Nicolaas Rockox and his wife Adriana Perez, acquired in 1980 from National Archive had been confiscated in December 1945 at De Lairesse auction house where they had been submitted by German art dealer A.J.A. Kaminski. How he came by them is not recorded.

Update 2019

The painting by Johann Bernard Klombeek and Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven, Winter forest scene was possibly owned by the art dealer Wolff. He found himself in difficulty during the war.

Until recent it was presumed this painting was part of the Rijksmuseum collection. New evidence has shown, however, this painting belongs to the Cultural Heritage Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed), the successor of the Government department for distributing Art (Dienst 's Rijks Verspreide Kunstvoorwerpen).

Information from previous research (report Museum Acquisitions 1940-1948)

View reaction of Rijksdienst Voor Het Cultureel Erfgoed in the report Museale acquisitions 1940-1948 which was published in 1999 in response to the previous museum research.

About this museum and its collection

The Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) possesses around 100,000 objects including paintings, prints, drawings, photos, sculpture, furniture, jewellery, carpets, posters etc, supervised by RCE Cultural Heritage Agency. Around half of these items are on loan to museums, public buildings and Dutch embassies around the world. Items not on loan are kept at a storage facility in Rijswijk.

Objects

Woodland Path in 'Haagse Bos'

Woodland Path in Haagse Bos

Artist/ Creator
Frits Mondriaan
Title
Woodland Path in Haagse Bos
Year
unknown
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
49 x 52 cm
Inventorynumber
R1
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

Who owned this painting before it passed to Nederlands Beheersinstituut in The Hague is not known.

Explanation

This painting was probably...

more information

Mills

Mill

Artist/ Creator
C.M. Dijkman
Title
Mill
Year
1900-1949
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
112 x 87 cm
Inventorynumber
R2
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

Who owned this painting before it passed to Nederlands Beheersinstituut in The Hague is not known.

Explanation

This painting was probably...

more information

Townscape with church

Townscape with church

Artist/ Creator
Johannes Daniël Scherft
Title
Townscape with church
Year
1920
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
60 x 70,5 cm
Inventorynumber
R3
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

Who owned this painting before it passed to Nederlands Beheersinstituut in The Hague is not known.

Explanation

This painting was probably...

more information

Landscape

Landscape

Artist/ Creator
A. Huissem
Title
Landscape
Year
1900-1940
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
87 x 107 cm
Inventorynumber
R4
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

Who owned this painting before it passed to Nederlands Beheersinstituut in The Hague is not known.

Explanation

This painting was probably...

more information

Portrait of Nicolaas Rockox

Portrait of Nicolaas Rockox

Artist/ Creator
Anonymous (copy after Peter Paul Rubens)
Title
Portrait of Nicolaas Rockox
Year
19th century
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
147,5 x 58 cm
Inventorynumber
R5538
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

When and from whom A.J.A. Kaminski acquired this painting is no longer known.

Explanation

Antwerp burgomaster Nicolaas Rockox commissioned...

more information

Portrait of Adriana Perez

Portrait of Adriana Perez

Artist/ Creator
Anonymous (copy after Peter Paul Rubens)
Title
Portrait of Adriana Perez
Year
19th century
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
147,5 x 58 cm
Inventorynumber
R5539
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

When and from whom A.J.A. Kaminski acquired this painting is no longer known.

Explanation

Antwerp burgomaster Nicolaas Rockox commissioned...

more information

Winter forest scene

Winter forest scene

Artist/ Creator
Johann Bernard Klombeek, Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven
Title
Winter forest scene
Year
1863
Technique
Olieverf op doek
Size
91 x 125,5 cm
Inventorynumber
B 59
Category
Paintings
Museum
Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Investigation results

Conclusion

Because the art dealer M. Wolff possibly owned this painting and was in difficulty during the war, its provenance is uncertain. This art gallery had a jewish...

more information