As part of its mission and commitment to the artwork in its care, Tacoma Art Museum conducts ongoing research on works in the collection including the provenance—or ownership history—for each work. A particular focus of this study is the European works acquired by the museum after 1932, which could have been in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1932-1945).
In the years prior to and during World War II, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime confiscated an unknown number works of art from governments, institutions, and individuals in the countries under their control. After the war, many of these artworks subsequently made their way into museums and private collections. In May 2001, the American Association of Museums (AAM) issued a series of guidelines for helping identify and publish confiscated works held in American museums and in 2003 launched the Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal (www.nepip.org) providing a searchable central registry of these works and their histories.
With the listing on NEPIP and additional information on this webpage, Tacoma Art Museum seeks to provide greater transparency regarding art in the permanent collection that meets the criteria established by AAM for Nazi-era provenance. Following the guidelines for research and core values set forth by the Association of Art Museum Directors in May 2007, Tacoma Art Museum continues to research and document its permanent collection.
Following is a list of works in Tacoma Art Museum’s collection that have an incomplete or ambiguous provenance. In the interests of complete transparency, this list includes European prints as well as paintings. These works also are listed on the NEPIP registry and those records are periodically updated as new information becomes available. The Museum welcomes any further information on the provenance of these works that users of this site may be able to provide.
For more information on this project or questions about specific works please contact Rock Hushka, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, at RHushka@TacomaArtMuseum.org.
- Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal
- American Association of Museum: Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era
- Association of Art Museum Directors: “Report of the AAMD Task Force on the Spoliation of Art during the Nazi/World War II Era (1933–1945)”
- Association of Art Museum Directors: Resolutions of Claims for Nazi-Era Cultural Assets