Looted Paintings

A Berlin Art Detective Story

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Many of the rightful owners of artworks looted during the Nazi era are still looking for them.

  • Facts


    • Franz Marc’s painting “The Tower of Blue Horses” was taken and showed in the “Degenerate Art” exhibition in Munich by the Nazis in 1937.
    • Marc’s painting was last seen in a Berlin art gallery in 1945 and has been missing ever since.
    • An exhibition in Berlin’s Haus am Waldsee celebrates  the missing artwork.
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Ausstellung “Missing. Der Turm der blauen Pferde by Franz Marc”
“You You You,” a 2017 sculpture by Via Lewandowsky, on show at the Haus am Waldsee exhibition dedicated to Marc's missing artwork. Source: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA.

Five years ago, the Gurlitt affair sent shockwaves through the art world and beyond. More than one thousand paintings collected by a Nazi art dealer were seized from a Munich apartment. They had been hidden for decades and included looted works.

Who owned these and other paintings is a question many institutions continue to struggle with.

Katja Blomberg, director of the contemporary gallery Haus am Waldsee, is on a different kind of journey.

She is searching for a missing picture, an icon of German modernism: Franz Marc’s “The Tower of Blue Horses” from 1913.

Many say the painting is lost but she is also investigating the space it left behind.

It was last seen in 1945 at Haus am Waldsee by the founder of Tagesspiegel newspaper, Edwin Redslob.

A question that continues to vex her is why no one followed indications that it was in Berlin after World War II ended.

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