Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lawsuit Involving Art Work Stolen by Nazis

Carol Farquhar sent me a very interesting article from Texas Lawyer dated 10-25-2010. I cannot seem to get the pdf of the article on the blog, so I am going to quote from Carol's excellent synopsis for non-lawyers.

It is a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the ownership of art confiscated by the Nazis.

From Carol: " Essentially someone in Louisiana is claiming ownership of a painting someone else alleges was confiscated from her family by the Nazis.

The current owner inherited the painting after it was sold at a forced sale in 1939. The heir of the seller demanded that it be returned. The current owner filed suit in Louisiana claiming that under Louisiana law, enough time had gone by that she was now the owner (essentially adverse possession of statute of limitations). The heir of the seller argued that federal law (the Terezin Declaration) overrode Louisiana law.

The Fifth Circuit held that all of the courts that decided claims involving Nazi-confiscated artwork consistently applied the state law statutes of limitations. It also held that the heir of the seller didn't timely raise the Terezin Declaration, but that, even if she had, the result would still be the same because Louisiana's law does not apply only to Holocaust victims of Nazi confiscated artwork.

In short, too much time has gone by and now the artwork belongs to the family of the buyer."

Thank you Carol for sending me this. I thought is was most interesting.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Arts Night Out at SMU

Very good reception at Arts Night Out, the SMU Informal Courses' beginning of the semester kick-off. Well done!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

End of Summer Reading

For those interested in the World War II era, I would highly recommend Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress by Nerin E. Gun. This is the best biography of Braun, who was totally unknown to the German people before her suicide with Hitler. While this book is long out of print, you could find it in a library, or by buying it online from Alibris etc.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SMU Fall Classes

Take a look fall registration for SMU classes is open: &Title=Courses Taught by Martha Fielder

Art History Classes: a course on German Impressionism built around the major exhibit that opens at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, but also includes other artists such Klimt and Munch. A Medieval Treasury which will include a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art to see The Mourners exhibition. Finally, a course on the Early Renaissance in Italy. I have wanted to do this one for a long time. We'll visit: Florence, Rome, Assisi and many other sites.

History Classes: for the Anglophiles, Queen Victoria's Sons. For the World War II students, Five Stars: MacArthur and Nimitz. This is the beginning of a series that will go through the spring 2011 semester. Don't miss the series on WWII in the Pacific.