Claude Cassirer, an 88-year-old San Diego photographer, won an US Appeals court ruling that will allow his restitution case against the Thyssen-Bornemsiza Museum to move forward once a judge rules whether he has to sue in Spain or Germany first to have his mother’s Pissarro returned, according to the LA Times’s Mike Boehm:
In the suit he filed more than four years ago, Cassirer (left) said he learned in 2000 that “Rue Saint-Honore, Apres-Midi, Effet de Puie,” the Pissarro his grandmother, Lilly Cassirer, had sold under duress to an art dealer working for the Nazis, was hanging in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. The museum opened in 1992 as a collaboration between the Spanish government and Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, a resident of Switzerland. In 1993, Spain bought the baron’s 775-painting collection for $338 million, according to the museum’s website.
Cassirer’s suit says that the Nazis sold the disputed Pissarro at auction in 1943, and that by 1976, it had been sold at least two more times. Then, Thyssen-Bornemisza bought it from an art dealer.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Sweden’s Moderna Museet has settled with the heirs of Otto Nathan Deutsch who lay claim to an Emil Nolde flower painting in the museum’s collection. The settlement came about when a private collector agreed to buy the painting and leave it on loan to the museum for five years. Afterwards, the collector will loan other paintings to the museum in place of the Nolde. No price was disclosed but the painting has been previously valued at $4m.
In a third item, The Art Newspaper reports that a woman claiming ownership of two Oskar Kokoschka paintings, Claudi Seger-Thomshitz, lost in Louisiana Federal court:
A federal court in New Orleans has rejected a Nazi-loot claim brought against a woman whose family has owned a painting by Oskar Kokoschka since 1946. In July, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled that Sarah Blodgett Dunbar was the rightful owner of Kokoschka’s Portrait of a Youth, 1910, finding against Claudia Seger-Thomschitz of Austria. In May, the same claimant lost a similar lawsuit for a painting by Kokoschka—Two Nudes (Lovers), 1913—at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston.
San Diegan Advances in Bid to Win Return of Nazi-looted Painting (Culture Monster/LA Times)
Jewish Heirs, Sweden Settle 7-Year Feud Over Nazi-Looted Nolde (Bloomberg)
Second Kokoschka Nazi Loot Claim Rejected (The Art Newspaper)