The Norton Museum of Art to Present Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker

. February 7, 2010

West Palm Beach, FL –Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker reveals the extraordinary legacy of Jacques Goudstikker (1897–1940), a preeminent Dutch Jewish art dealer in Amsterdam whose vast collection of masterpieces fell victim to the Nazi practice of looting cultural property. In 2006, after years working with a team of art historians and legal experts, Goudstikker’s family successfully reclaimed 200 of his paintings from the Dutch government — one of the largest claims of Nazi-looted art ever resolved. Featuring over 40 of the finest examples of the recovered art, along with original documents and photographs, the exhibition brings to light Goudstikker’s influence as a collector, art dealer, and impresario, and celebrates the historic restitution of these artworks to their rightful owner. This traveling exhibition was organized by The Jewish Museum, New York.

Jacques Goudstikker was one of the most important and influential art dealers in Europe during the period between the First and Second World Wars. The Goudstikker Gallery, located in a grand house on one of Amsterdam’s prominent canals, dealt primarily in Dutch Old Masters from the Golden Age, while offering other Northern European and Italian paintings. Goudstikker catered to leading collectors of his day, selling paintings not only to Dutch museums (such as the Mauritshuis in The Hague, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam), but also to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and to Andrew Mellon for the then-fledgling National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. A natural impresario, Goudstikker delighted in organizing national as well as international art fairs, festivals, and exhibitions, some of which had enduring significance for the history of art.

As prominent members of society, Jacques and his wife entertained lavishly in their villa outside the city and at their country estate, Nyenrode Castle on the Vecht river. Yet this luxurious and exuberant life would soon be a lost moment in time. Because he was Jewish, Goudstikker was forced to flee the Netherlands with his family in May 1940 immediately after the Nazi invasion. Jacques died in a tragic accident while escaping. He left behind approximately 1,400 works of art in his gallery, the bulk of which were confiscated by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.
A small black leather notebook, now known as the “Blackbook”, that contained an inventory of much of his collection was with Goudstikker at the time of his death, and later became a crucial piece of evidence in the battle to reclaim his art. The exhibition includes a facsimile of that notebook, together with an interactive touch-screen computer version of it that allows visitors to view each page.

Reclaimed is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated 257 page catalogue published by the Bruce Museum and The Jewish Museum in association with Yale University Press, which is available in the Museum Store for $60.
Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker was created by the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT. The traveling exhibition was organized by The Jewish Museum, NY.
Made possible by Thomas S. Kaplan; the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; and Herrick, Feinstein LLP.
Local presentation of this exhibition is made possible in part through the generosity of Mr. Eric P. Ross and Family in memory of Mrs. Lore Ross, with additional support from Paul and Gayle Gross, Melvin and Claire Levine, Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein, and the Sydelle and Arthur Meyer Endowment Fund.

The Norton Museum has been recognized internationally for its travelling exhibitions and expansive collections of over 7,000 works, including European Impressionists and Modern Masters, American art from 1900 to the present, an extensive collection of works on paper and a rich body of sculpture. The Chinese collection offers superb examples of carved jades and bronze vessels and the contemporary collection embraces art from the 1960’s on. Today’s most revered and history’s most innovative photographers are featured in the photography collection. Annually, the Norton Museum presents engaging and exciting collection and exhibition related talks, concerts, and programs for children and adults. The Museum Store offers an eclectic and artsy array of gifts and décor and Café 1451 at the Norton cleverly themes its delicious lunch menu after the exhibitions on view.

The Norton Museum is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on major Holidays). General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for visitors ages 13-21, and free for Members and children under 13. Special group rates are available. West Palm Beach residents receive free admission to the Museum Collection every Saturday, with proof of residency. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission to the Museum Collection the first Saturday of each month, with proof of residency. For additional information, please call 561. 832.5196 or visit www.norton.org

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.