The black cat sees everything. This view of Frankfurt’s central railway station was executed in exile in Amsterdam, ten years after Beckmann had left the city on the River Main. Painted from memory, the scene depicts an empty square without hustle and bustle – only a single human silhouette can be discerned in front of the main entrance. The painter had often come here to absorb the atmosphere. In melancholy retrospect, he envisions the station as calm and quiet beneath the evening sky. Beckmann would have been glad to get away from the life he was compelled to lead in hiding in Holland.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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