Submission Title

Art Ownership and the Process of Restitution Post World War II

Presenter Information

Anna Short, Whitworth University

Session Number

SS6

Location

Robinson 229

Abstract Number

SS6-a

Abstract

For centuries, the desire to own art has driven many to commission, sell, and even steal the works of great masters. This happened increasingly during World War II as Hitler attempted to amass the largest collection of artworks in Europe. By result he displaced one fifth of the total number of artworks located in Europe at the time, often taking items from Jews as he persecuted them in the Holocaust. What followed the end of World War II was one of the largest and long-lasting attempts at art restitution. This paper will examine how the looting of art during World War II and the subsequent restitution processes shaped contemporary ideas of art ownership and law while considering the emotional impact of returning valued artworks to their original owners.

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Apr 23rd, 1:30 PM Apr 23rd, 3:00 PM

Art Ownership and the Process of Restitution Post World War II

Robinson 229

For centuries, the desire to own art has driven many to commission, sell, and even steal the works of great masters. This happened increasingly during World War II as Hitler attempted to amass the largest collection of artworks in Europe. By result he displaced one fifth of the total number of artworks located in Europe at the time, often taking items from Jews as he persecuted them in the Holocaust. What followed the end of World War II was one of the largest and long-lasting attempts at art restitution. This paper will examine how the looting of art during World War II and the subsequent restitution processes shaped contemporary ideas of art ownership and law while considering the emotional impact of returning valued artworks to their original owners.