Gurlitt: Status Report

Nazi Art Theft and its Consequences

3 November 2017 to 11 March 2018

News that the Bavarian Public Prosecutor’s office had seized the art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt (1932–2014), caused an international sensation when it was made public in November 2013. The 1500 works that the reclusive son of the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895–1956) had inherited from his father raised suspicions: had they been looted by the Nazis before and during the Second World War?

To investigate these suspicions, the German government provided the funding necessary to conduct further research, while Cornelius Gurlitt agreed to restitute any work identified as looted. Thus far, four works have been returned to the heirs of their lawful owners. Gurlitt, who died in May 2014, bequeathed his collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern.

The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Kunstmuseum Bern have joined forces to present a selection of Cornelius Gurlitt’s extensive art collection in a concurrent double exhibition. The presentation in Bern – Degenerate Art – Confiscated and Sold  – focuses on the work of modern artists defamed as ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis, while the exhibition in Bonn concentrates on Nazi Art Theft and its Consequences. The Bonn exhibition traces the career of Hildebrand Gurlitt within the historical context of the period. Gurlitt, originally a passionate champion of modern art, became one of the leading art dealers of Nazi Germany. That notwithstanding, after the end of the war, he was able to resume his pre-war career as museum director without too much trouble.

Complementing Gurlitt’s ambiguous biography, the exhibition sheds light on the lives of some of his contemporaries, focusing in particular on the fate of Jewish artists, collectors and art dealers who fell victim to the Nazi regime.

The exhibition Gurlitt: Status Report – Nazi Art Theft and its Consequences presents a selection of works from a broad spectrum of the history of art – ranging from Dürer to Monet, from Brueghel to Beckmann – that have been hidden from public view for decades. By thematising the provenance of each of the works on show, the exhibition also sheds light on the complex history of the individual objects.

Admission tickets

€6/ €3.90 (concessions), Family ticket €9.60

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 7 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. More information


Photographing in this exhibition is not only allowed but desired. Share your photos on social media and use the official hashtags.

Show bibliography

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)