Thursday, March 16, 2006
Five Klimt works get U.S. display
L.A. art museum will show paintings returned to owner after Nazi theft.

The Orange County Register

AT LACMA: Adele Bloch-Bauer I, a 1907 Gustav Klimt painting flecked with gold and silver. Five works go on display in April.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced Wednesday that it will exhibit five important paintings by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, works that were stolen by the Nazi regime during World War II.

The paintings - valued at $300 million - were recently returned by the Austrian government to the family of Maria Altmann of Los Angeles after a nearly eight-year legal dispute over their rightful ownership.

The paintings include the gold-flecked "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" (1907), one of Klimt's most famous pieces, estimated at $120 million in value.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring to the public of Los Angeles, of Southern California, five absolute masterpieces of 20th-century art," said Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at LACMA. "These are destination pictures."

The paintings will be on display April 4 through June 30.

While the artworks and other property were left to Altmann and her siblings in her uncle's will, she was forced to flee when the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938. The treasures were taken by the Nazis and scattered across Europe. The paintings wound up in the Austrian Gallery Belvedere in Vienna, where they had been for decades.

New restitution laws in the late 1990s gave Altmann, now 90, hope of recovering the paintings. With help from L.A. lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg, she appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the final decision to return the paintings to Altmann and her family was announced in January.

"It's really our way of saying thank you to Southern California for giving refuge to our families," said Schoenberg, grandson of composer Arnold Schoenberg. "The best Klimt paintings are in Austria, until now."

In a statement issued Wednesday, Altmann said: "I am very pleased that these wonderful paintings will be seen at LACMA. It was always the wish of my uncle and aunt to make their collection available to the public."

The Klimt works epitomize the height of the Viennese Judgendstil, or "youth style," similar to Art Nouveau in Western Europe and the U.S. The other paintings that will be on display are "Adele Bloch-Bauer II" (1912) and three landscapes, "Beechwood" (1903), "Apple Tree I" (ca. 1911) and "Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter" (1916).

They have never been shown together in the United States.

Restitution    16.03.2006
Klimt-Bilder ab 4. April in L.A. ausgestellt
Die fŸnf restituierten Klimt-Bilder, die am Dienstag in die USA verschickt
worden sind, werden von 4. April bis 30. Juni im Los Angeles County Museum
of Art zu sehen sein.
Die "Goldene Adele" hŠngt jetzt in Los Angeles.Aus Dankbarkeit verliehen
Bloch-Bauer-Erbin Maria Altmann stellte die Bilder dem Museum aus
Dankbarkeit gegenŸber Los Angeles zur VerfŸgung, das "mir ein Zuhause
gegeben hat, als ich vor den Nazis geflŸchtet bin, und dessen Gerichte mir
ermšglicht haben, die GemŠlde meiner Familie zu guter Letzt
wiederzubekommen", wird Altmann in einer Aussendung des Museums zitiert.
Keine Auktion vor dem Sommer
Da die Bilder bis 30. Juni ausgestellt sind, ist klar, dass sie bis zum
Sommer nicht versteigert werden.
Auf 248 Millionen Euro haben die Erben die GemŠlde
geschŠtzt.Versicherungswert nicht genau bekannt
Der Transport der Bilder von …sterreich in die USA wurde vom
šsterreichischen Kunstversicherungs-Consulter Barta & Partner gemeinsam mit
"AXA-ART" versichert. Die Versicherungsleistung umfasst den Transport der
Bilder in die USA und die ersten sieben Tage der Aufbewahrung an ihrem
Bestimmungsort, dem Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Der Versicherungswert lag nach Angaben der Firma noch "Ÿber den
kolportierten Marktwerten der fŸnf GemŠlde", genaue Zahlen wurden jedoch
"aus SicherheitsgrŸnden" keine genannt. Die Erben hatten 248 Millionen Euro
als Wert aller fŸnf GemŠlde veranschlagt.