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Jacques Goudstikker’s Black Notebook

April 21, 2009

The Jewish Museum is (coincidentally) running an exhibition on the paintings of Jacques Goudstikker, a prominent Jewish art dealer in Amsterdam I learned about in the book on the Vermeer forger, Han van Meegeren, “The Forger’s Spell” . Goudstikker was famous throughout Europe for his vast collection of art (over 1,000 paintings) including 30 old masters. He died tragically while trying to escape the Netherlands after the Nazi invasion in 1940 and left behind a black book listing all the paintings in his collection. Hermann Goerring, one of Hitler’s right hand men and the head of the Luftwaffe, had already looted many priceless artifacts from all over Europe and jumped at the chance to acquire Goudstikker’s renowned collection through a “sale”. It was only in 2006 that Goudstikker’s family managed to reclaim 200 of the art works that were looted by the Reichsmarschal.

I am so excited that the Jewish Museum is organizing yet another amazing exhibit (their exhibit on Chagall and the artists of the Russian Jewish theater was very inspiring and included works seen in the US for the first time). Their online interactive black book is really fun to play with and lets you flip through Goudstikker’s famed notebook while viewing select works in his collection.

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