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Symposium: Guido Adler’s Legacy
Restitution and remembrance at the University of Vienna followed by a roundtable discussion on the subject “The University of Vienna and National Socialism, Restitution and Critical Remembrance”.
Tuesday 14th May 2013 – 13 – 19:30
Aula on campus, 1090 Vienna, Spitalgasse 2–4, courtyard 1
The library and written works of Guido Adler (1855–1941), who was a prominent representative from the field of Musicology at the University of Vienna, were looted with the enthusiastic involvement of the staff of the University of Vienna and only partially restituted.
During the course of provenance research carried out at the University of Vienna, remains of Guido Adler’s library were able to be identified in the Library of Musicology and the Main Library. A part of his literary estate discovered in the archives of the University of Vienna was also identified as dubious. Both the remains of the library and the part of the literary estate were recently restituted (see the list of restituted objects). The event renders a contribution towards the University of Vienna’s attempts to deal with its own history in terms of music(ology) during and after the National Socialist era.
As such, the symposium also constitutes a contribution to the processing and remembrance work and documents the results of the provenance research.
Database on motor vehicles in Austria in the 1930s and 1940s.
Within the scope of a research project at the Technical Museum Vienna (2009–2012), important sources concerning motor vehicle ownership in Austria were accessed and evaluated. After the Anschluss in March 1938, the National Socialists confiscated over 3,000 motor vehicles which were either used as company cars, e.g. for the Nazi Party or were auctioned by the Vienna auction house Dorotheum in summer 1938 on the instruction of the GESTAPO. Around 20 % of all registered vehicles were stolen by the National Socialists – the largest theft of automobiles in the history of Austria. The database NS-KFZ Raub (“National Socialist motor vehicle seizure”) comprises the motor vehicles seized by the National Socialists in Austria and is, as such an aid for identifying goods seized by the Nazis in public and private collections and in the vintage car trade.
New Objects from MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art
In 1954 the MAK was assigned a rug and five tapestries which had previously been under the administration of the Federal Ministry for Property Control and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Finance. The Transfer receipt reads "items previously secured by the Inter-Allied Commission and approved for release". When and under what circumstances the items were secured and the identities of the previous owners remains unknown. By publishing the photos and details of the six textiles, the provenance researchers at the MAK hope to receive information which will assist them in their search.
From March 23rd to March 25th 2011 the Commission for Provenance Research in Vienna organised an international symposium on the subject of "Collecting art - dealing in art".
The conference transcript will be published by Böhlau as Volume 3 of the Publications of the Commission for Provenance Research in spring 2012.
Program and Abstracts 2011:
Upper Austrian Provincial Museums and Vienna University Library since September 2011 online
The Upper Austrian Provincial Museums have been carrying out provenance research since 1999. After an initial internal report had been compiled in the year 2000, the University of Linz was commissioned to carry out a research project on the subject of looted art and restitution in Upper Austria. Upon conclusion of the project, numerous objects were restituted; objects of unknown origin were published on the homepage http://www.landesmuseum.at/ueber/provenienzforschung/ and in a separate publication.
The Upper Austrian Provincial Museums have now conveyed to the National Fund a list of art and cultural objects in order that they may be included in the art database. These objects mainly consist of objects that the Provincial Museum had taken over from the holdings of the American Collecting Point Administration in the early 1950s. The paintings concerned originally belonged to the holdings of the Special Commission Linz and for the most part had been acquired through the German art trade. Additionally, drawings were published which had been brought to the Provincial Museum by the local Gestapo in 1939.
The Institute for Social and Economic History at the Johannes Kepler University Linz was commissioned with the project, led by university professor Dr. Michael John. He was assisted by university assistant Dr. Birgit Kirchmayr (Institute for Recent and Contemporary History, Johannes Kepler University) and Dr. Friedrich Buchmayr (library of the St. Florian Monastery).
Director: Peter Assmann
Fax: extension -66
In 2004, the Vienna University Library was the first university library in Austria to set up a provenance research project. Although its holdings are not subject to the Art Restitution Law, the University Library Vienna decided to operate along the lines of this Law. From 2004 to 2008, a research project at the Main Library investigated and processed these dubious acquisitions; from 2006 to 2010, the specialized and institute libraries were reviewed with a second project team.
In total, around 400,000 volumes of the Vienna University Library were examined and dubious holdings were recorded. Several restitutions have already occurred since 2009. These can be viewed by searching the Online-Katalog of the Vienna University Library.
Further information can be found on the Website
Mag. Markus Stumpf, MSc
Since October 22, 2010 an updated version of the National Fund"s art database has been available. In cooperation with the Commission for Provenance Research and with the experience gathered by the National Fund over recent years, the database, which has been available online since 2006, was able to be modified to improve its user-friendliness.
A primary concern of the National Fund was to provide an accessible version of the database. The query options were also extended. All objects are now able to be called up according to museum and inventory number.
Another important aim was to process all database objects more transparently. In cooperation with the Commission for Provenance Research, the existing database holdings were able to be assigned to one of two groups.
Consequently it is clear from the overview which objects were still the subject of open cases and which cases have already been decided by the committees in charge or the research was able to clarify that the object, which was previously designated questionable, was not of a questionable nature.
On the basis of the "Restitution status", for example, users can see which objects have already been restituted, which are still being examined or in which cases heirs of previous owners that have been identified are being sought.