Decision Postponed on Schiele’s ”Mother with Two Children III“

Der Standard (03/19/2010)

Decision Postponed on Schiele’s ”Mother with Two Children III“
Restitution Advisory Board finds additional inquiries necessary.

Vienna – The Restitution Advisory Board has postponed its decision on Egon Schiele’s painting, “Mother with Two Children III,” deeming additional inquiries by the Commission for Provenance Research as necessary.

The painting was formerly owned by Jenny Steiner. The National Socialists seized all assets, the apartment was aryanized and the art collection sold. After WW II, Jenny Steiner fled to New York, leaving many paintings behind, among them was “Mother with Two children III.” Since she was not granted an export license, Steiner sold the painting in 1951 to Austria’s Belvedere gallery for 20,000 Schillings.

In 2000 the Restitution Advisory Board recommended that the painting is not to be restituted. However, in fall of 2009, the Law on Restitution was amended, allowing for  works that were paid a selling price after 1945 to also be restituted. Alfred Noll, the lawyer for the heirs, reckons with restitution in exchange for return payment of the former sum for which it was sold. The Restitution Advisory Board wants now, however, to obtain further information on the export proceedings.

It also postponed the decision on a still life of fruit by Jakob van Es from the former Robert Schwarz collection. As for restitution, it recommended each of the two silver candlesticks from MAK be returned to Emil Iwnicki and Anna Kutscher.