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Project Museum Acquisitions 1940-48

In 1998-99, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was one of four hundred Dutch museums that participated in the research project Museum Acquisitions 1940-48.

Reports of Museum Acquisitions 1940-48

The final report was published in December 1999 by the Museums Association: E. Muller, Museum Acquisitions 1940-48 Report. In 1998, the City of Rotterdam published the research results for Rotterdam’s museums in a separate report by historian Dr A.J. Bonke: De herkomst van de aanwinsten van de Rotterdamse gemeentemusea 1940-1948 (The Provenance of the Acquisitions of Rotterdam’s Municipal Museums 1940-48). He later wrote various individual reports about specific works of art or subcollections, including ‘Kunstwerken uit de voormalige Koenigs Collectie in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’ (Artworks from the Former Koenigs Collection in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), December 2001. 

Further research 
Commissioned by the City of Rotterdam, Dr Bonke conducted further research into specific acquisitions from this period in 1998-1999. This was initiated by a request of the grandson of a Jewish couple from Frankfurt am Main. In 2006, Anita Hopmans, Chief Curator of Modern Art the RKD wrote an extensive report on the provenance of these two works: Disputed Ownership. On the Provenance of Two Works by Jan Toorop in Museum Boymans: the Painting Titled The Thames (1885) and the Drawing Known as Faith in God (Godsvertrouwen) (1907), December 2006 (in Dutch). This resulted in a publication in the Boijmans Studies series: A. Hopmans, Acquisition and Restitution: the Toorop Case, Rotterdam 2008. 

Other restitutions arising from the research 
As a result of the research carried out in 1998-99 and supplementary provenance research, the museum took the initiative to return two drawings by Marius Bauer to the heirs of Mrs F.S.B. Ornstein (2000), a painting by Nicolaas van der Waay to the heirs of Mr I.H. Leefsma (2001) and a drawing by George Hendrik Breitner to the heirs of Mr E. de Vries (2001). You can find more information about these cases and settled and ongoing restitution claims here.