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Issues of looted art and restitution, particularly of art misappropriated during the Nazi era, continue to be prevalent topics in art news coverage and remain important concerns for museums worldwide. Karen Daly will provide an overview of the issues, discussing the response of the American museum community, considering how recovery and restitution efforts have evolved to the present day, including an overview of VMFA’s experiences in resolving art restitution claims.
Join us for a special Art Film Friday in conjunction with our Muscarelle Explorations: Art Repatriation lecture series! The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war.
Join us for a special screening of The Liberators after the lecture by Thomas R. Kline and Jennifer Morris. A true detective story, The Liberators follows a dogged German art detective through the New York art world and military archives to the unlikeliest of destinations: a small town on the Texas prairie. The film raises intriguing questions as to the motivations of the art thief and the whereabouts of the items that, to this day, remain waiting to be discovered.
This series of programs is presented in cooperation with the following: William & Mary Art and Cultural Heritage Law Society; Cultural Heritage Partners, a law firm dedicated exclusively to serving cultural heritage clients; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Thomas R. Kline and Jennifer Morris advise clients on art, museum, and cultural heritage matters. Their experience in the areas of Nazi seizures, wartime looting, forced sales, and thefts has allowed them to resolve a wide variety of disputes on behalf of families, museums, auction houses, and foreign governments. Kline and Morris will discuss museum ethics and governance issues that affect both private and public collections. Through a series of case studies, they will address museums’ responsibilities in acquiring and selling artworks; complying with local, state, and federal laws, as well as intentional conventions; and resolving ownership disputes.
Join us for a special Art Film Friday in conjunction with our Muscarelle Explorations: Art Repatriation lecture series! Woman in Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman’s voyage to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also known as The Woman in Gold).
The Third Reich left a long legacy of looted art to be restituted, as did other wars and conflicts. In her talk, L. Eden Burgess will discuss how claimants have used the courts to try to right those wrongs. This series of programs is presented in cooperation with the following: William & Mary Art and Cultural Heritage Law Society; Cultural Heritage Partners, a law firm dedicated exclusively to serving cultural heritage clients; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.