Provenance Research:

Historisches Museum Wien (Historical Museum, Vienna)


Historisches Museum Wien (Historical Museum, Vienna)

The Historical Museum was founded in 1887. Between 1889 and 1939, the museum and the Municipal and Provincial Library of Vienna (founded 1856) formed the Municipal Collections of Vienna (Städtische Sammlungen). After the split of museum and library in 1939, the museum continued to be known as the Municipal Collections until 1949. It is today part of the Museums of the City of Vienna.

Research into Nazi-confiscated works of art in the museum's collection
The Historical Museum's contemporary history curator Dr. Peter Eppel is the appointed Restitution Commissioner for the Museums of the City of Vienna and coordinates the provenance research in all municipal collections.

Provenance Research at the Historical Museum has revealed 148 works purchased from the Vugesta (Bauernmarkt 24, Vienna) and the furniture section of the Vugesta (Krummbaumgasse 8, Vienna). The museum records only give the Vugesta or Gestapo as provenance - "purchased from the Vugesta" (Ankauf bei Vugesta) or "purchased from the Gestapo from tangible assets confiscated in the course of expatriation procedures" (Ankauf von der Gestapo aus im Ausbürgerungsverfahren beschlagnahmten Sachwerten) - but never indicate the name of the former owner. The museum has published an illustrated list of these objects on its website (description, measurements, material, inventory number). For sets of more than one object, the description will list brief descriptions for all components but only one item will be shown on the photograph. The objects on the list are also searchable through the Central Registry's Object Database with descriptions in English.

They include the following: furniture & household items (3 objects or object groups), prints (52) and gouaches (1) by unnamed artists, workshops or magazines; and works by the following artists: Marie Adler: (4 prints), Franz Alt (4 prints), Rudolf von Alt: (6 prints, 1 watercolour sketch) Zygmunt Ajdukiewicz (1 oil paintings), P.P. Allais: (1 Schabblatt), Carl Franz Bauer (1 oil paintings), Alexander Bensa (1 print), Chabert (1 print), Hugo Charlemont (1 oil painting),Josef Danhauser (1 oil painting), Dembinski (1 ink drawing), Charles Achilles D'Hardiviller: (1 oil painting), Victor Eckhardt von Eckhardsburg (1 watercolour), Albin Egger-Lienz (1print), Fanny Faber (1 print), Ernst Graner: (2 watercolours), Franz Gerasch (1 watercolour), Josef Haier (1 oil painting), Franz Hanfstaengl (1 print), Ludwig Hofbauer (1 watercolour), Johanna Kampmann-Freund (1 drawing), Luigi Kasimir (1 print), Tana Kasimir-Hoernes (1 print), Kininger & Mayer (1 Schabblatt), Ludwig Koch (1 oil painting), Alexander Josef Kostka (1 watercolour), Joseph Lanzendelli: (2 prints), Richard Lux: (1 print), Hans Makart (1 oil painting), Ludwig Michalek: (1 Schabblatt), Carl Moll (1 watercolour), Tranquilo Mollo (1 print), Richard Moser (1 watercolour), Adolf Müllner (1 watercolour), Maximilian Neubauer (2 watercolour), Johann Nepomuk Passini (1 print), Peyer (1 watercolour), Carl Pippich: (5 watercolours), Alexander Pock (1 gouache), Max Pollak (1 print), Gottfried Prixner: (2 prints), Tobias Dionys Raulino: (2 prints), Vinzenz Reim: (3 prints), Alice Reischer (1 print), Johann Baptist Reiter (1 oil painting), August Roth (1 gouache), Robert Russ (1 oil painting), Johann (Hans) Sachs (1 watercolour), Franz Joseph Sandmann: (2 prints), Hans Schliessmann (ink drawing), Ferdinand Schmutzer: (5 prints), Carl Schütz: (5 prints), J.M. Siccrist (1 print), Emil Singer (1 print), Victor Stöger (1 watercolour), Oskar Stössel: (2 prints), Straube (1 print), Karoline Tinter (1 print), Otto Trauner-Erichsen (1 print), Karl Tucek (1 print), William Unger (1 print), Carl Graf Vasquez: (6 prints), Karl Waage (1 print), Friedrich Bernhard Werner (1 print), Hans Wilt (2 gouache), Ilona Wittrisch (1 print), Fritz Zatzka: (2 prints), Johann Wenzel Zinke: (4 prints).

Between 1938 and 1945 the Historical Museum and the Clock Museum also acquired objects from the Dorotheum, then a state-owned auction house. On 27 August 2002, the museum has also published a second list (text only) of c. 1550 Dorotheum acquisitions on its site whose owners could no longer be identified and which therefore are likely to include objects of questionable origin. The museum has publicised the publication of the list in several papers and periodicals including Aufbau, Austrian Information, the DÖW Newsletter, Die Gemeinde, Keshet, Rotweissrot and Wiener Zeitung but has not yet received relevant information. The museum would be grateful for any relevant information on the origin of individual objects, former owners or their heirs.

The Museums of Vienna and the Municipal and Regional Library of Vienna have published the book Die Restitution von Kunst- und Kulturgegenstände im Bereich der Stadt Wien 1998-2001 (The Restitution of artistic and cultural objects in the region of the city of Vienna 1998-2001: Museums of the City of Vienna and Vienna Municipal and Provincial Library) which lists restitutions up until 31 December 2001 and describes the processes involved and criteria employed for provenance research in the Museums of the City of Vienna and the Municipal and Provincial Library of Vienna. The most recent Restitution Report (1 January - 31 October 2002) can be downloaded from the museum's website.

Research into works of art missing from the museum
No information is currently available

Contact Details
Dr. Peter Eppel
Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien
A-1040 Wien, Karlsplatz
Telefon: +43 (0)1 505 87 47/84034 DW
Telefax: +43 (0)1 505 87 47/7201

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