Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Museum of Fine Arts Boston Confirmed as Rightful Owner of Oskar Kokoschka Painting Two Nudes (Lovers)

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has issued its decision in the case determining ownership of Oskar Kokoschka’s painting Two Nudes (Lovers) (painted about 1913).

The decision affirmed United States District Judge Rya Zobel’s May 28, 2009, ruling that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) is the rightful owner of the painting, and any claim to Two Nudes (Lovers) is time-barred.

While the case was resolved on statute of limitations grounds, it is important to note that the Court of Appeals’ opinion by Judge Kermit Lipez (joined by Judges Juan R. Torruella and Paul J. Barbadoro) agreed with Judge Zobel’s conclusion that the family of the original owner of the painting, Dr. Oskar Reichel of Vienna long knew that Dr, Reichel had sold the painting in 1939 to the Jewish art dealer Otto Kallir. Kallir then brought the painting to the United States. Family members did not assert a claim to Two Nudes (Lovers), as they did after World War II to other works of art Dr. Reichel had sold.

Image: Oskar Kokoschka (Austrian, 1886–1980), Two Nudes (Lovers), 1913. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bequest of Sarah Reed Platt. Photo: © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts houses and preserves preeminent collections and aspires to serve a wide variety of people through direct encounters with works of art.

The Museum aims for the highest standards of quality in all its endeavors. It serves as a resource for both those who are already familiar with art and those for whom art is a new experience. Through exhibitions, programs, research and publications, the Museum documents and interprets its own collections. It provides information and perspective on art through time and throughout the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *