Looters, Smugglers, and Collectors

Provenance Research and the Market

Looters, Smugglers, and Collectors: Provenance Research and the Market departs from and extends beyond the restitution case of Henri Matisse’s Blue Dress in a Yellow Armchair (1937) to the heirs of collector Paul Rosenberg in March 2014 after sixty years in Henie Onstad Kunstsenter’s collection.

The case was an impetus for a research project investigating the ownership history of artworks in the collection, and also for this publication which gathers seminal authors and artists who have developed the concept of provenance in different yet all extremely interesting perspectives.

This book gives context to contributions by theorists and artists such as: Arjun Appadurai, Alexander Alberro, Wolfgang Ernst, Hans Haacke, Emmanuelle Polack, Uwe Fleckner, among others, as well as reprinting documentation material and artists contributions, some of it for the first time.

The publication has obvious historical references to the looting and confiscation perpetrated by the Germans during World War II, but shows that similar acts are still occurring today as well, for example, the plundering and destruction of Palmyra in Syria.


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