Instructors for the PRTP Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia, March 10-15, 2013
Marc Masurovsky is an historian, researcher, and advocate, specializing in the financial and economic underpinnings of the Holocaust and the Second World War. Born and raised in Paris, France, Mr. Masurovsky holds a B.A. in Communications and Critical Cultural Studies from Antioch College and an M.A. in Modern European History from American University in Washington, DC, for which his thesis was on “Operation Safehaven.” He worked at the Office of Special Investigations of the US Department of Justice researching Byelorussian war criminals, locating primary source documents, and interviewing war crimes suspects in North America and Western Europe. As a result of his early work on the transfers of looted assets from the Third Reich to the safety (safehaven) of neutral and Allied nations, Mr. Masurovsky advised the Senate Banking Committee in the mid-1990s on the involvement of Swiss banks in the Holocaust, then lent his expertise to plaintiffs’ counsels suing Swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust survivors. Since 1997, Mr. Masurovsky has focused his attention on the fate of objects of art looted by the Nazis and their Fascist allies, and was a founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP). He played a major role in the January 1998 seizure of Egon Schiele’s “Portrait of Wally” and “Night City III” at the Museum of Modern Art of New York and was a director of research for the Clinton-era Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States (PCHA). Since 2004, Mr. Masurovsky has overseen the creation, development and expansion of a fully-searchable, public online database of art objects looted in German-occupied France that transited through the Jeu de Paume in Paris from 1940 to 1944. Mr. Masurovsky is co-author of Le Festin du Reich: le pillage de la France, 1940-1944(2006), and is currently at work on a book on cultural plunder during the Nazi era and its impact on the international art market. He operates a blog on looted art at plundered-art.blogspot.com.
Agnes Peresztegi is a practicing attorney in Budapest, Hungary, a graduate of ELTE University in Budapest (1990, J.D. summa cum laude), the University of Pennsylvania, (1991, LL.M. in International and Comparative Law) and McGill University (1998, LL.M. in Human Rights Law), and is a member of the New York State Bar and the Budapest Bar. As a consultant and Executive Director of the Commission for Art Recovery, Europe, Dr. Peresztegi assists the Commission to find suitable solutions, legislative or otherwise, to the unfinished business of restituting art taken by the Nazis and their collaborators. Dr. Peresztegi has also been legal counsel to private claimants, including, among others, the Herzog and Hatvany families. She has been involved in all issues pertaining to restitution/compensation for human rights violations committed against Hungarian Jewry during WWII: slave and forced labor claims, bank account and insurance claims, and other property claims against Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United States.
Willi Korte is a German-born jurist, historian, researcher, and author who studied history, law and politics at the Free University of Berlin, as well as at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He holds a law degree and a Ph. D. in history. He has spent the past twenty years on matters related to the identification and restitution of works and objects of art looted by the Nazis and their collaborators. As one of the foremost historical investigators and researchers in the field of cultural assets misappropriated and looted between 1933 and 1945, Dr. Korte relies heavily on his special knowledge of private and public archives in North America and Europe. One of his earliest accomplishments was the location and return of the famous Quedlinburg treasure to its rightful owners in Germany. He provided the historical research and background in regard to Egon Schiele’s “Portrait of Wally” and has been responsible for many restitutions of Old Masters belonging to the late Max Stern, the Jewish art dealer in Düsseldorf, Germany, who fled to Canada in the late 1930s. Dr. Korte is co-author of Quedlinburg-Texas und zurück: Schwarzhandel mit geraubter Kunst (1994), and a founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP).
Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, Dr. phil (Jewish studies / art history) has been working in the field of exhibitions and Jewish material culture since 1984. She was the first to deal with the fate of the Judaica collection of the Museum Jüdischer Altertümer in Frankfurt/Main for the opening exhibition of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt in 1988 (Was übrig blieb. Das Museum Jüdischer Altertümer in Frankfurt 1922-1938). From 1993 until 2011 she held the position of chief curator at the Jewish Museum Vienna. Since 2012 Dr. Heimann-Jelinek has been working as a freelance curator, a lecturer at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg, and as director of the Keter Programme of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. She has published numerous catalogues and articles on Jewish cultural-historical and historical topics. Dr. Heimann-Jelinek chairs the Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property Working Group of the ESLI Advisory Council.
Victoria Reed has been conducting provenance research at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, since 2003. In her current position as Curator for Provenance she is responsible for the research and documentation of the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, the review of potential acquisitions and loans, and the development of due diligence policies and practice throughout the curatorial division. Dr. Reed has lectured widely on matters related to provenance research. Previously she held positions at the Princeton University Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA and Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University.
Julie-Marthe Cohen is a curator at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. In that capacity she organises exhibitions and conducts research relating to the Museum’s collection and to Amsterdam’s Portuguese and Ashkenazi communities. Since 2000 she has taken a special interest in the wartime history of the Museum’s collection. Based on this research, she developed a database of missing and misplaced objects from the collection, which became accessible in 2010 (www.jhm.nl/looted). She is a member of the Judaica and Jewish Cultural Working Group of the ESLI Advisory Council. Together with Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek she edited Neglected Witnesses. The Fate of Jewish Ceremonial Objects During the Second World War and After (Institute of Art and Law, Wales in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam), that was published in 2011.
In addition to the full-time instructors, a number of specialists from the variety of fields related to provenance research gave presentations during the workshop, including:
Konstantin Akinsha is an art historian, international curator, and contributing editor to ArtNews magazine. A former official of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States (PCHA), Mr. Akinsha will discuss the controversial activities of Ante Topic Mimara in Allied-occupied Europe and postwar Yugoslavia as they relate to the identification and recovery of looted cultural assets and their return to Yugoslavia.
*Agnieszka-Anna Alston is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Jewish Studies of Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She will be speaking about Jewish artists and collectors in pre-war Krakow and their wartime fate.
Andrea Baresel-Brand is Deputy Director of the Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg in Magdeburg, Germany, which oversees the looted art database www.lostart.de. She will discuss the creation and implementation of this major tool of digital research into the fate of art looted during the Third Reich.
Rajka Bućin is an archival adviser and the Head of the Division of Contemporary Records at the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb, Croatia. Ms. Bućin will discuss how to research Holocaust-related questions and wartime confiscations of Jewish property in Croatian archives.
Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, historian, is a Research Associate of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, as well as an Honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Dr. Grimsted is a leading international authority into the looting of archives, libraries, and cultural assets during WWII especially as it pertains to the activities of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) across continental Europe and in particular in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Her presentations will highlight these various aspects of Nazi looting.
Uwe Hartmann is Director of the Berlin-based Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung, a German government agency established to finance provenance research projects on the fate of looted items in German collections.
*Shir Kochavi is a researcher at the Company for Location and Recovery of Holocaust Victims’ Assets in Israel. She will be introducing the postwar work of the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO) in Allied-occupied Germany and Austria as it relates to the creation of art collection in modern Israel. She will also discuss the notion of “heirless” cultural property.
Vlatka Lemić is Director of the Croatian State Archives. She will be introducing workshop participants to archival research in Croatian archives. Member of Organizational Committee of PRTP Zagreb Workshop, 2013.
*Antonija Mlikota is with the Department of Art History at the University of Zadar in Zadar, Croatia. Ms. Mlikota will be discussing the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas and the work that it did in Zadar, which was under Italian occupation during WWII.
*Shteryo Nozharov is assistant prosecutor in the Supreme Cassation Prosecution Office in Sofia, Bulgaria. He will share with us statistical data regarding his office as it applies to the protection of cultural heritage. He will also discuss training provided by NGOs in Bulgaria regarding the protection of cultural assets and awareness of historical displacements of cultural assets, as well as an overview of cultural property protection and gaps in current legislation in Bulgaria.
Višnja Zgaga is director of the Museum Documentation Centre in Zagreb. Croatia. She will discuss the work of the Museum Documentation Centre and the current state of affairs in Croatia. Member of Organizational Committee of PRTP Zagreb Workshop, 2013.
*Participants making presentations