Art Find

Response to Current Events

As an art lover, the recent discovery of an important, expensive and hidden collection of art intrigued me.  Cornelius Gurlitt had a billion dollars worth of fine art stowed away in his Munich home.  The works have been confiscated.

Photo from: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.558596
Photo from: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.558596

This story has so much inherent intrigue: a hidden collection of Nazi-looted art, a discovery of something fantastic and a man who feels such a strong connection to 14,000 paintings.  Something I’ve discussed in Art History a lot with my classmates and professor is the value of art.  What makes it worth something?   It is, quite literally, paint on canvass.  Yet somehow it holds so much value, whether that’s monetary value or personal value.

In this case, these pieces also have historical value, since they have a connection with Nazis and the Holocaust.   Art, as much as any document can, provides so much historical context for the time it was created.  It has the power to upset the government as much as strong language or revolution does.  The story of Cornelius Gurlitt shows how much art can mean even if many people don’t appreciate it for what it is, and what it is is something way bigger than just paint on canvass.

For more information and an interview with Gurlitt himself, go to: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/spiegel-interview-with-cornelius-gurlitt-about-munich-art-find-a-933953.html

 


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