about the gallery

Provenance Research

 

 

In accordance with the Statement of Principles adopted by the National Museum Directors’ Conference (NMDC) in November 1998 and the statement issued by the Museums and Galleries Commission in April 1999, the Courtauld Institute Gallery has undertaken to examine the provenance of its collections with regard to the spoliation of works of art during the Holocaust and World War II period. The Courtauld published and updated lists of works with gaps in their known provenances during the years 1933-45 in October 2000, August 2001, March 2003, September 2004 and February 2006. These lists are available on the website of the NMDC at www.nationalmuseums.org.uk.

General description of the collection The Courtauld Institute Gallery holds some 520 paintings, approximately 20,000 prints and drawings and significant collections of medieval, Renaissance and modern sculpture as well as ceramics, metalwork and furniture. The Gallery is designated in respect of all its collections.

1. OVERALL PLANS (GENERAL)
A. Areas which could contain looted items
Potentially all works created before 1945 and acquired by the relevant donor or testator after January 1933.

B. Areas excluded and why
Works acquired by donor or testator before 1933.
Works created after 1945.
Works with an exclusively British provenance.

Most of the Hunter collection of modern British painting
-The majority of the works were created after 1945.
Most of the Fry collection
The majority of the works were acquired by Fry before 1933.
The Gambier-Parry collection
-The Gambier-Parry collection was formed by Thomas Gambier Parry (1816-88) and bequeathed by his grandson, Mark Gambier-Parry, in 1966. This includes the greater part of the Courtauld Institute Gallerys applied arts collection.
The Samuel Courtauld gift of 1932
Works on loan to the Gallery

C. Target areas: prioritisation
The extensive collection of drawings.

D. Areas considered low priority
The collection of prints, most of which are low value reproductive works.

2. RESEARCH BEING CARRIED OUT IN INITIAL TARGET AREAS
Research has concentrated on the paintings collection, the collections of sculpture and decorative arts and selected parts of the drawings collection.

3. INFORMATION REGARDING PROGRESS IN THE TARGET AREAS
Research has advanced on a number of paintings in the collection. The current list also includes items from the Sir John Witt collection of drawings.

4. INFORMATION ON MAKING GENERAL ENQUIRIES
A. Contact for all enquiries about Holocaust or WWII Spoliation
Dr Alexandra Gerstein
Assistant Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Tel: 020 7848 1645
alexandra.gerstein@courtauld.ac.uk

B. Sources of information and means of access
An illustrated core record database of the all the drawings and paintings in collection of the Courtauld Institute Gallery is now available via the Art & Architecture link on the Courtauld Institute of Art website or at www.artandarchitecture.org.uk. Catalogues with provenance information exist for parts of the collection. Further information may be held in individual object files.

C. How to make general enquiries
Initial enquiries may be made in writing, by telephone or email. See A and E.

D. Press office
Sue Bond
01359 271085

E. The Courtauld Institute Gallery
Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
Strand
London
WC2R 0RN

Progress Report
Following the publication of its initial research into the paintings collection in October 2000, the collection of sculpture and decorative arts in August 2001, and drawings in the Princes Gate Collection in March 2003, recent research has focused on the John Witt and Anthony Blunt collections of drawings. This has been restricted to readily available sources, including published catalogues, acquisition records and material collected in individual object files. The Gallery has also sought to progress research on previously published works.