12 January 2008

New York: Research and Art Restitution, Jan. 20

Art restitution articles seem to be everywhere these days, as new claims are filed and families struggle to reclaim stolen art. Learn from expert Karen Franklin what is involved in this research and sometimes successful restitution of stolen art and other objects.

The upcoming Jewish Genealogical Society of New York program will include a screening of short clips from Stealing Klimt (2007), which re­counts the struggle of Maria Altmann, 90, to recover five Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis in Vienna.

Speaker Karen Franklin in "State of the Art: Researching and Restitution" will show how Jewish genealogical research has been utilized to help solve looted art cases in New York, the Netherlands, Israel and Ukraine. Her il­lustrated presentation will highlight cases for the Leo Baeck Institute and research for the Origins Unknown Agen­cy.

Cases vary from a potentially multi-million dollar restitution settle­ment for the Larsen family, to the return of a doll and furniture to a family who fled Ger­many to Palestine in the 1930s. Each offers specific re­search tech­niques and general legal and ethical issues regarding looted art.

She'll explain how the Council of Ameri­can Jewish Museums’ (CAJM) Resolution on Nazi-Era Looted Art, which she co-authored, affects the Jewish community and claims for Jewish objects.

Franklin is a co-chair of the JewishGen Board of Governors and past presi­dent of IAJGS and CAJM; serves on numerous boards, including the In­terna­tional Council of Museums (ICOM) and its Memorial Museums Committee, as well as the Commis­sion for Looted Art in Europe. She completed research for The Plaut Family: Tracing the Legacy by Eliza­beth S. Plaut, just published by Avo­taynu.

The meeting begins at 2pm, Sunday, January 20, at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, New York City. For more information, click here.

Attendees who arrive early will have access, from 12.30-1.45pm, to the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute for net­work­ing with other researchers and access to research materials and computers. It also has a growing microfilm collection of Jewish materials from Austria, Germany, Poland and Hungary. Click here to see what is available.

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