Dossier Gurlitt

3 Nov 2017 — 11 Mar 2018 at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany

9 SEPTEMBER 2017
Max Beckmann (1884–1950), Zandvoort Strandcafé, 1934, Gouache und Aquarell auf Papier, 49,8 x 64,8 cm
Max Beckmann (1884–1950), Zandvoort Strandcafé, 1934, Gouache und Aquarell auf Papier, 49,8 x 64,8 cm

The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (the Bundeskunsthalle) in Bonn, and the Kunstmuseum Bern are collaborating in the organization of a concurrent double exhibition. The two exhibitions will, for the very first time, be focusing on a selection of works of art from the Cornelius Gurlitt estate.

Under the title of Dossier Gurlitt, the two exhibitions shown concurrently at the two museums will present Cornelius Gurlitt’s extensive art collection. Each exhibition will examine the collection through a different thematic lens. Drawing on a shared overall context, the two shows are based on the latest research into “Gurlitt’s art trove” and seek to bring to light further evidence to help clarify the provenances of those works whose origins remain unknown.

In form and content, the exhibitions at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and at the Kunstmuseum Bern are closely coordinated. In Bern the focus lies on art that was considered “degenerate” and on works from the Gurlitt family circle. The Bundeskunsthalle, on the other hand, will concentrate on works of art that were taken from their owners as part of the Nazi persecution and on works whose provenance has not yet been established. Primarily, the exhibition in Bonn will shed light on the fate of the persecuted, mostly Jewish art collectors – and art dealers, juxtaposing their individual histories with the biographies of the Nazi perpetrators. Moreover the show homes in on the unprecedented theft of art by the Nazis in the occupied territories.

The project – the result of the close collaboration between the two museums – will be documented in a joint publication. The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bern will be curated by Nina Zimmer and Matthias Frehner with the support of Georg Kreis; that presentation at the Bundeskunsthalle by Rein Wolfs and Agnieszka Lulinska – with the support of renowned experts. A common advisory board will monitor both exhibitions: Esther Tisa Francini, Gilbert Lupfer, Uwe M. Schneede, Hermann Simon and Shlomit Steinberg.