Heirs to Auction Nazi-Looted Art from Albertina

Adolph von Menzel, Stehende Rüstungen, 1886 Photo: Albertina Museum

An artwork by Adolph von Menzel, which was restituted to the heirs of Adele Pächter earlier this year will hit the auction block at Berlin’s Villa Grisebach on November 26, the Art Newspaper has reported. Pächter was the widow of German art dealer Hermann Pächter, whose Kunsthandlung R. Wagner began selling von Menzel’s work in 1880.

OTS reported in March that Adele Pächter, who was Jewish, was persecuted by the Nazis and was forced to dispose of her deceased husband’s collection. Hermann Pächter had died in 1902. She was able to bring the collection to auction in 1940 via her son in law, under extreme pressure. In 1943, she was murdered at the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

The artwork to be sold at Villa Grisebach is Adolph von Menzel’s gouache on paper Stehende Rüstungen (1886). It is estimated to fetch €100,000–150,000 at the auction this fall. The piece had been on display in Vienna’s Albertina museum until research conducted by the Austrian government’s Art Restitution Advisory Board determined that Adele Pächter “was forced to sell works” during the time of National Socialism in Germany.

Florian Illies, a partner at Villa Grisebach, revealed to the Art Newspaper that the research conducted by the Austrian Art Restitution board also discovered other works by von Menzel that the Pächter family had to sell during Nazi regime.

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