Tag: Fritz Gruenbaum

Press release: Christie´s and the family of Fritz Grünbaum agree to the sale of two important works by Egon Schiele

German Version below


Christie’s is honored to announce that the family and heirs of the renowned performer, composer, and art collector Fritz Grünbaum have entrusted Christie’s with the sale of two important works on paper by Egon Schiele, which will be included in Christie’s Evening sale of 20th Century Art in New York this November. These two exceptional watercolors were part of the collection numbering in the hundreds of works that Fritz Grünbaum – said to be the inspiration for Joel Grey’s character in the Broadway musical Cabaret – assembled in Vienna in the first decades of the last century. The collection was lost when the Nazis invaded Austria in the late 1930s, and both Mr. Grünbaum and his wife were sent to concentration camps where they perished. Christie’s and the Grünbaum family hope this sale will offer an opportunity to celebrate the life, art, and genius of Fritz Grünbaum.
Richard Aronowitz, Christie’s Global Head of Restitution, said: “It has been a privilege to work with the Grünbaum heirs and I want to thank them for giving us the opportunity to offer these extraordinary Egon Schiele drawings. We look forward to sharing these works with the world, and to introducing a new generation to Fritz Grünbaum, a renowned performer who was also a renowned collector.”
Raymond J. Dowd, Esq., who is representing the Grünbaum heirs, said: “I want to thank Christie’s for the expertise, professionalism, and personal care they have shown throughout this process. I am confident that we have placed the legacy of Fritz Grünbaum and the trust of his family in the best hands in the business.”
Christie’s has the largest and most experienced Restitution team of any international auction house, underscoring our responsibility to this field. Located in New York, London, Berlin, and Vienna, our researchers have a century of combined years of experience. We have made Nazi-era provenance research a hallmark of our expertise.


Christie’s freut sich, bekannt geben zu können, dass die Familie und die Erben des berühmten Künstlers, Komponisten und Kunstsammlers Fritz Grünbaum Christie’s mit dem Verkauf von zwei bedeutenden Papierarbeiten von Egon Schiele beauftragt haben, die in der Christie’s Evening Sale of 20th Century Art in New York diesen November angeboten werden. Diese beiden außergewöhnlichen Aquarelle gehörten zu der Hunderte von Werken umfassenden Sammlung, die Fritz Grünbaum – der als Inspiration für die Figur des Joel Grey im Broadway-Musical Cabaret gilt – in den ersten Jahrzehnten des letzten Jahrhunderts in Wien zusammengetragen hatte. Die Sammlung ging verloren, als die Nazis in den späten 1930er Jahren in Österreich einmarschierten, und sowohl Herr Grünbaum als auch seine Frau wurden in Konzentrationslager geschickt, wo sie umkamen. Christie’s und die Familie Grünbaum hoffen, dass dieser Verkauf eine Gelegenheit bietet, das Leben, die Kunst und das Genie von Fritz Grünbaum zu feiern.
Richard Aronowitz, Christie’s Global Head of Restitution, sagte: “Es war ein Privileg, mit den Grünbaum-Erben zusammenzuarbeiten, und ich möchte ihnen dafür danken, dass sie uns die Möglichkeit gegeben haben, diese außergewöhnlichen Egon Schiele-Zeichnungen anzubieten. Wir freuen uns darauf, diese Werke mit der Welt zu teilen und eine neue Generation mit Fritz Grünbaum bekannt zu machen, einem berühmten Künstler, der auch ein renommierter Sammler war.”
Raymond J. Dowd, Esq., der die Grünbaum-Erben vertritt, sagte: “Ich möchte Christie’s für das Fachwissen, die Professionalität und die persönliche Betreuung danken, die sie während dieses Prozesses gezeigt haben. Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass wir das Erbe von Fritz Grünbaum und das Vertrauen seiner Familie in die besten Hände der Branche gelegt haben.”
Christie’s verfügt über das größte und erfahrenste Restitutions-Team aller internationalen Auktionshäuser, was unsere Verantwortung in diesem Bereich unterstreicht. Unsere Forscher in New York, London, Berlin und Wien verfügen zusammen über ein Jahrhundert an Erfahrung. Wir haben die Provenienzforschung in der Nazizeit zu einem Markenzeichen unserer Expertise gemacht.

In the News: In Case Over Nazi-Looted Art, Dispute Over $1.4M in Prejudgment Interest Heats Up

“As long as they continue to assert title, we can’t sell the artworks,” said the lawyer for the
Jewish heirs to an Austrian 1920s art collector who had owned the Egon Schiele paintings
before the Nazis imprisoned him.

The heirs are claiming that interest on the artworks they
won possession of continues to grow as the interest amount is disputed and leave for appeal
on the merits is sought.

Law Journal
Übersetzung NYL-Joural

Here a rough german translation

Übersetzung NYL-Joural

In the News: Dissecting the HEAR Act

“For years, now, Grünbaum’s heirs have fought to bring home works that were once part of his collection; however, they have faced a lot of push back and failure in the process. In 2005, an attempt to restitute Seated Woman With Bent Left Leg (Torso) by Schiele was thwarted when the court deemed that too much time had passed for Grünbaum’s heirs to lay claim to it. In 2015, Grünbaum’s heirs began the process of seeking the return of Schiele’s Woman in a Black Pinafore (1911) and Woman Hiding her Face (1912). Thanks to the HEAR Act, the case was heard and, in his ruling, Judge Ramos stated: ‘The HEAR Act compels us to help return Nazi-looted art to its heirs […] the gut-wrenching process by which Mr. Grünbaum’s property was looted.’”

Read the whole article here: https://www.lootedart.com/U28K6F947771

In the News: Gruenbaum Heirs Take on an Art Foundation That Rights Nazi Wrongs

The German Lost Art Foundation operates a database of art likely looted by the Nazis, a list that has earned plaudits for helping to return works taken from Jews during the Holocaust.

But now the foundation is being criticized for removing from public view 63 works by the Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele, as a result of lobbying by several dealers who specialize in the artist. The dealers contend the works in question were never stolen.

The removal — a rare step — is being challenged by the heirs of a popular Viennese cabaret performer, Fritz Grünbaum, whose sizable art collection, including 81 Schieles, was inventoried by Nazi agents in 1938 after he had been sent to a concentration camp where he died.

20180827 Jewish Heirs Take on an Art Foundation That Rights Nazi Wrongs - The New York Times


Press Clipping: Legal battle over Schiele works owned by Jewish entertainer who died in Dachau

His heirs’ attempts to recover them will be framed by President Obama’s Holocaust Act

by David D’Arcy  |  6 April 2017

A dispute in New York over two watercolours by Egon Schiele will revisit the tragic life of their owner in the 1930s, Fritz Grünbaum, a popular Jewish entertainer in Vienna who died a Nazi prisoner in Dachau.

Some also see the case as an early assessment of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act, which regularised a federal statute of limitations of six years, beginning with the discovery of an object, during which claims can be made for the recovery of Nazi loot in the US. The statute affirms a US interest in the restitution of art stolen during the Nazi era.





Press Clipping: A Suit Over Schiele Drawings Invokes New Law on Nazi-Looted Art

The New York Times

A Suit Over Schiele Drawings Invokes New Law on Nazi-Looted Art


Egon Schiele’s “Woman Hiding Her Face” (1912) is one of two drawings at issue in a suit brought by heirs of the collector Fritz Grunbaum.

When the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act was adopted unanimously by Congress in December, it was widely praised as a necessary tool to help the heirs of Holocaust victims recover art stolen from their families during World War II.

Now the efficacy of the HEAR Act, as it is known, may get an early test in New York State Court, where the heirs of Fritz Grunbaum, an Austrian Jewish entertainer, are citing it in efforts to claim two valuable colorful drawings by Egon Schiele.

Read the full article in the New York Times here



Gruenbaum-Schieles saved and blocked in New York

The heirs of Fritz Grunbaum persuaded a Manhattan judge Tuesday to block the sale and transport of two works by Egon Schiele that belong to Mr. Grunbaum’s collection.  The works were featured by Richard Nagy of Richard Nagy, Ltd. at the Salon + Design fair held at the Park Avenue Armory, New York.

Tuesday, Justice Ramos of the New York Supreme Court entered a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) providing that Woman in a Black Pinafore and Woman Hiding Her Face, shall not be transferred or otherwise removed from  New York by any person or entity.

A hearing is scheduled for December, 1st in Manhattan.


201511 16 Summons

20151117 Order to show cause with temporary restraining order