Works of art stolen by the Nazis from a renowned Austrian-Jewish cabaret performer more than 80 years ago were officially returned to his heirs Wednesday at a ceremony in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Seven artworks by Egon Schiele will be returned to the heirs of a Jewish cabaret performer who had owned the pieces before being murdered in the Holocaust. The works, most of them portraits of Schiele himself or his wife, were part of a massive art collection owned by the Viennese performer, Fritz Grünbaum, and are estimated to be worth a total of approximately $9.5 million. Grünbaum’s collection also included works by Albrecht Dürer, Auguste Rodin and Camille Pissarro, along with a total of 81 pieces by Schiele, an Austrian expressionist painter active in the early 20th century.
During his abbreviated lifetime, a cabaret performer named Fritz Grünbaum amassed a trove of artwork — more than 400 pieces, including 80 sketches and paintings by the Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele that were ultimately plundered by the Nazis. For a while, many of those disappeared until they began to resurface over the years in auction houses and prominent museums.
Several prominent museums and art collectors have returned artwork by Austrian expressionist
Seven works by the Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele will be handed over on Wednesday to the heirs of the Viennese cabaret artist who had owned them before he was murdered by the Nazis, according to Manhattan prosecutors, marking a major turning point in one of the art world’s longest-running Holocaust restitution cases.
Artwork stolen by Nazis has been returned to its rightful owners. Seven pieces of artwork by Egon Schiele, a Viennese expressionist artist, are now proudly on display in Lower Manhattan. They belonged to Fritz Grunbaum, a cabaret artist, film and radio star from Austria.