Gerhard Altenbourg drew the curved contours of an amphora – an antique vase-like vessel – over a rectangular woodcut. He gave the vessel’s neck a form that reminded him of a mouse. He enclosed the rectangle in an undulating white and pale blue shape, added two little legs at the bottom, and painted the surrounding surface with reddish watercolour. The depiction plays with the memory of the red- and black-figured antique clay vessels the artist was well acquainted with from regular visits to the Lindenau Museum in his native Altenburg.
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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