Detailed Investigation into the Provenance of Some 100 Works from the Collection of Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch

In 2010, the couple Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch gifted their significant art collection – comprising around 160 works – to the state of Berlin. They were permanently loaned to the Neue Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz. The collection is centred on works of Surrealism and from the New York School of Abstract Expressionism.

Since January 2023, the project, funded by the state of Berlin, has systematically investigated the origins and ownership history of the collection’s pre-1945 works in order to determine which ones were confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution, particularly those previously held by Jewish collectors. The investigations are concerned with 101 objects in total: 72 paintings, 20 works on paper, seven sculptures, one photograph, and a suitcase containing numerous objects by notable artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Tamare de Lempicka and Dorothea Tanning. The Pietzsches acquired the works between the 1960s and the 2000s on the international art market via gallerists, art dealers and auction houses.

Institution: Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Project management: Dr Petra Winter
Research associate: Dr Lisa Hackmann
Museum assistant: Francisca Cruz
Research support: Maike Steinkamp (Neue Nationalgalerie), Sven Haase (Zentralarchiv)
Cooperation partners: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Project funding: The State of Berlin
Project duration: February 2023 to end of 2025