Gemälde und Plastiken Moderner Meister aus Deutschen Museen


The Grand Hotel Auction, organised by Theodor Fischer, took place 1939 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Titled Gemälde und Plastiken Moderner Meister aus Deutschen Museen, (Paintings and Sculptures of Modern Masters from German Museums), the auction was to sell off 126 of the paintings, many of which had been exhibited in the infamous Entartete Kunst exhibition first organised by the Nazis two years previously in Munich, and which subsequently toured Germany. Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, proposed to sell some of the more valuable paintings to gather foreign currency for supporting the war effort. Though the auction was met with protest from institutions around the world, Fischer insisted that the proceeds would be distributed among German museums to acquire new items. The auction was widely publicised, and included works by modern masters including Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Oskar Kokoschka. In Belgium, three institutions decided to send delegates – the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Liege, Brussels and Antwerp. The delegation saw the auction, not only as an opportunity to make key purchases of modernist art, but also to save examples of Entartete Kunst from destruction. These three paintings by Lovis Corinth, George Grosz and Karl Hofer were acquired by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA).

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