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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Het Noordbrabants Museum

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Het Noordbrabants Museum

Verwersstraat 41 5211 HT 's-Hertogenbosch www.hetnoordbrabantsmuseum.nl

Investigation results

This museum has 2 objects with a potentially problematic provenance.

Result of this investigation

North Brabant Museum has two paintings with potentially problematic provenance, namely Willows by a Cabbage Field by Jan Sluijters, once owned by Jewish art dealer J. Goudstikker. Alois Miedl, who had taken over the firm that year, submitted the work for auction in the autumn of 1940. In 1997, the museum bought the painting. The second painting is Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, Courtyard of a farm in Berlicum, 1846. This painting was most probably sold as lot number 219 at Lempertz’s auction house in Cologne on 2 June 1943. It is not known when or by whom this painting was submitted to the auction house. Museum investigators reached this conclusion after checking inventory books and cards, the digital registration system and publications.

Jewish heritage

Between 1933 and 1940, most of the museum’s acquisitions were utensils donated by Brabant families. A major gift was from Karel Azijnman of Den Bosch, son of a Jewish businessman; this included a large collection tin, bronzes, paintings, drawings and Jewish ritual items. Azijnman was closely involved in the North Brabant provincial society of arts and sciences (predecessor of the museum) and donated his collection to the museum between 1926 and 1936. After his death, his heirs continued to donate items. Other Jewish heritage in the collection comes from gifts from Jewish families and acquisitions made in consultation with ’s-Hertogenbosch Jewish community.

Further investigation

In 1955, the museum began focusing on collecting art, especially paintings. The museum acquired items dating from before the Second World War both as gifts from individuals and through the art trade. Some of the paintings do not have complete provenance, which means that some may have problematic provenance. In these cases, the museum investigated the work before acquiring it, occasionally referring to third parties. 

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

View reaction of Het Noordbrabants Museum 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 museum showcases the art, culture and history of North Brabant and the southern Netherlands with a collection ranging from prehistory to the present day: archaeological finds, folk culture, coins and medals, applied and fine art. Exhibits include paintings and graphic art by the Breughels and Brabant works by Vincent van Gogh, alongside modern and contemporary Brabant art by artists such as Jan Sluijters, JCJ Vanderheyden and Marc Mulders.

Objects

Pollarded willows at the Slatuinen

Pollarded willows at the Slatuinen

Artist/ Creator
Jan Sluijters
Title
Pollarded willows at the Slatuinen
Year
c. 1908
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
70,5 x 58 cm
Inventorynumber
15.279
Category
Paintings
Museum
Het Noordbrabants Museum

Investigation results

Conclusion

This painting was part of the prewar collection of Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker.

Explanation

This painting was part of art dealer...

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Courtyard of a farm in Berlicum

Courtyard of a farm in Berlicum

Artist/ Creator
Henriëtte Ronner – Knip
Title
Courtyard of a farm in Berlicum
Year
1846
Technique
Oil on canvas
Size
79 x 113 cm
Inventorynumber
16341
Category
Paintings
Museum
Het Noordbrabants Museum

Investigation results

Conclusion

This painting was most probably sold as lot number 219 at Lempertz’s auction house in Cologne on 2 June 1943. It is not known when or by whom this painting was...

more information