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Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art

Darsie Alexander and Sam Sackeroff; Essays by Julia Voss and Mark Wasiuta

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Price: $50.00
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A strikingly original exploration of the profound impact of World War II on how we understand the art that survived it

By the end of World War II an estimated one million artworks and 2.5 million books had been seized from their owners by Nazi forces; many were destroyed. The artworks and cultural artifacts that survived have traumatic, layered histories. This book traces the biographies of these objects—including paintings, sculpture, and Judaica—their rescue in the aftermath of the war, and their afterlives in museums and private collections and in our cultural understanding. In examining how this history affects the way we view these works, scholars discuss the moral and aesthetic implications of maintaining the association between the works and their place within the brutality of the Holocaust—or, conversely, the implications of ignoring this history.
Afterlives offers a thought-provoking investigation of the unique ability of art and artifacts to bear witness to historical events. With rarely seen archival photographs and with contributions by the contemporary artists Maria Eichhorn, Hadar Gad, Dor Guez, and Lisa Oppenheim, this catalogue illuminates the study of a difficult and still-urgent subject, with many parallels to today’s crises of art in war.

Published in association with the Jewish Museum, New York

Exhibition Schedule:

Jewish Museum, New York
(Opens August 2021)

Darsie Alexander is the Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator and Sam Sackeroff is the Lerman-Neubauer Assistant Curator at the Jewish Museum, New York.


Jewish Museum, New York
(Opens August 2021)

“A New York show of masterpieces, stolen by the Nazis then recovered, highlights how people worked to save and repair a shattered culture.”—Financial Times

“Rarely does one walk away from a gallery with a spinning head, thinking of the life led by the paintings, drawings and objects themselves.”—The Guardian

“This exhibition at the Jewish Museum is small, but it manages to convey the vastness of what was lost by presenting some of the art that survived.”—New Yorker
ISBN: 9780300250701
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Jewish Museum, New York
280 pages, 7 3/4 x 10 1/2
190 color illus.
Martha Rosler


Martha Rosler; With essays by Darsie Alexander, Rosalyn Deu

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