Egon Schiele's Self-Seers - Stolen from Fritz Grunbaum and Still Missing
Last week I gave a lecture at Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research in Jerusalem. I dealt with the problems faced by attorneys who need to prove that the Holocaust happened and to prove that transactions involving Nazi persecutees during the period 1933-1945 were presumptively duress transactions.
If you would like to listen to my presentation, the link is here. The Powerpoint presentation that illustrates the audio is here. The invitation reproduced below.
The International Institute for Holocaust Research-Yad Vashem
cordially invites you to attend the lecture
Egon Schiele's Dead City
Current Issues In Nazi Art Looting and Recovery
Raymond Dowd, Esq.
Partner - Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP New York
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Lecture Hall, Room 223, Administration and Research Building
Yad Vashem, Mount of Remembrance
In 1998, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau seized Egon Schiele's Dead City and Portrait of Wally at New York's Museum of Modern Art, creating a scandal that changed the legal landscape of Europe and the United States for victims of Nazi persecution and their survivors. Ray Dowd represents the heirs of Fritz Grunbaum, a Jewish cabaret performer murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp. Fritz's wife Lily died in the Minsk Death Camp. Grunbaum's art collection surfaced in Switzerland in 1956 under disputed circumstances, and in the first Holocaust-era art recovery trial in U.S. history, Bakalar v. Vavra, the District Court found that passing the artwork through Switzerland gave it clean title. The case is on appeal. Many of Fritz's artworks are in the Leopold Museum and the Albertina Museum in Austria. In over ten years, Austria has not even bothered to respond to the heirs' claims.