Infrared reflectography, Gustave Courbet, Portrait de femme, n.d. [c. 1862], oil on textile, doubled, framed, verso, Bern 2020, detail. © Kunstmuseum Bern, Restaurierung und Konservierung, Katja Friese
The database gives access to the Cornelius Gurlitt Estate, from any location and at any time. In this inventory, the front and back of every artwork is pictured, with basic data and current information about its ownership history (provenance). In the category provenance status, the known history of owner-transfers is given according to the Kunstmuseum Bern standards. The credit-line provides information on the current ownership-status and the research-status.
The archive can be researched using full-text or advanced-search options. Information in the database is constantly updated.
Please contact us if you have any questions or information about the listed artworks.
The provenance information is accurate up to the time of digital publication, based on the available sources. This information may change due to new research and the discovery of new sources. The provenance research is ongoing, and the published information will be regularly updated.
Ideally, the provenance information for an object documents its ownership from the time of the work’s creation up to its entrance into the Cornelius Gurlitt Estate. This includes the following information:
Ownership transfers are given in chronological order and separated by a paragraph.
Gaps in the historical information are indicated by ellipses [...]. Unverified information is indicated by the word “wohl“ or [?].
Changes of possession excluding change of ownership, for example the offering of an object through auction or the loan an exhibition, are indicated in the chronological provenance by an indented line.
The provenance categories of the Kunstmuseum Bern serve for a differentiated assessment of the state of provenance research.
The provenance categories of the Kunstmuseum Bern further specify the system of classification determinded in the Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria and the Stiftung Kunstmuseum Bern of 24 November 2014.
In the database THE GURLITT ESTATE current research findings are classified according to the provenance categories of the Kunstmuseum Bern.
New research findings may result in reassessment of the category. All changes will be duly published.
|Category||Definition Kunstmuseum Bern|
|The provenance for the period from 1933 to 1945 can be reconstructed. This is not a case of looted art.|
|The provenance from 1933 to 1945 has not been unambiguously clarified; gaps in the ownership history remain. According to current research, there is no evidence of looted art. There are no implications of looted art and / or conspicuous circumstances.|
|The provenance from 1933 to 1945 has not been conclusively clarified; gaps in the ownership history remain. According to current research, there is no evidence of looted art. There are, however, implications of looted art and / or conspicuous circumstances.|
|The provenance for the period from 1933 to 1945 can be reconstructed. This is a case of looted art.|
|The artifact was created after 1945. This is not a case of looted art.|
According to the Vereinbarung [agreement] with the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Free State of Bavaria, the Kunstmuseum Bern has the option to reject ownership of works with unclarified and / or incomplete provenance from the years 1933 to 1945 in the category “Yellow-Green” and “Yellow-Red”. This option ends on 31 December 2022. The evaluation according to the provenance categories of the Kunstmuseum Bern decides on the rejection of ownership of works with unclarified or incomplete provenance.
Among the objects owned by the Kunstmuseum Bern are those for which the provenance between 1933 and 1945 has not been clarified, and gaps in the provenance remain, while current research provides no implication and / or evidence of Nazi-Looted art, or conspicuous circumstances. The Kunstmuseum Bern retains ownership of these works. Works in the “Yellow-Green” category are not published in the Lost Art database.
Works for which the provenance between 1933 and 1945 has not been clarified, and gaps in the provenance remain, while current research provides no evidence of Nazi-Looted art, whereby, however, conspicuous circumstances and implications on looting are in evidence, the Kunstmuseum Bern will waive ownership. Ownership of these works will be transferred to the Federal Republic of Germany. Works in the “Yellow-Red” category are published in the database Lost Art.
The credit line provides information about the ownership-status.
Kunstmuseum Bern, Legat Cornelius Gurlitt 2014
[Kunstmuseum Bern, Cornelius Gurlitt Estate 2014]
indicates artworks which the Kunstmuseum Bern has definitively incorporated into its collection.
Kunstmuseum Bern, Legat Cornelius Gurlitt 2014, Provenienz in Abklärung
[Kunstmuseum Bern, Cornelius Gurlitt Estate 2014, ownership history undergoing clarification]
indicates artworks, the provenance of which is still being clarified and which are the subject of ongoing research. They are listed in the “Yellow-Red” provenance category. With the acceptance of the Gurlitt legacy in November 2014, artworks in the provenance category “Yellow-Red” became property of the Kunstmuseum Bern. The Kunstmuseum Bern may waive ownership of these artworks until the end of December 2022, and transferring ownership to the Federal Republic of Germany. Objects in the provenance category “Yellow-Red” are published in the database Lost Art.
Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Legat Cornelius Gurlitt 2014
[In possession of the Federal Republic of Germany, Cornelius Gurlitt Estate 2014]
indicates artworks for which the Kunstmuseum Bern has waived ownership and turned over to the Federal Republic of Germany, although the artworks have neither been proven to have been, nor identified with high probability to be, Nazi-Looted art (objects in the provenance category “Yellow-Red”). Objects with this credit line are published in the databases Lost Art and Provenienzdatenbank.Bund.
Treuhänderischer Besitz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland für den unbekannten Eigentümer oder die unbekannte Eigentümerin, Legat Cornelius Gurlitt 2014
[Fiduciary property of the Federal Republic of Germany for the unknown owner, Cornelius Gurlitt Estate 2014]
indicates artworks proven or, with a high level of probability, shown to be Nazi-looted art, for which no legitimate former owner has been found. Objects with this credit line are published in the database Lost Art.
Private Ownership OR the name of an institution
indicates artworks which have been restituted to their rightful owners or their descendants OR which have changed ownership after being incorporated in the Kunstmuseum Bern collection.