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Phantom Gallery Exhibition

One tends to forget that a collection is not only formed by the works of art that have been acquired but also to quite an extent by those works that have been lost. With the exhibition Schattengalerie (Phantom Gallery) the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen (Germany) now focuses on this part of its history and thus emphasizes its still existing claims.

At a very early stage the museum began to document its collection on high-quality glass-negatives and, therefore, is able to present a selection of 80 of the lost paintings, which have now been reproduced as ‘life-size’ photographs. In particular cases these will be complemented by still existing pendant paintings or works on loan from their current, lawful owners.

Today most of the lost paintings are considered to be Beutekunst (looted art). In order to protect them from air-raids the Suermondt-Museum stored great numbers of its works of art in the Albrechtsburg in Meissen near Dresden. In the aftermath of World War II many of these were seized by the so-called Trophäenbrigaden (trophy brigades) and brought to the Soviet Union; 220 of the 476 paintings stored in Meissen are still missing. Moreover, the exhibition includes reproductions of paintings that were destroyed, stolen or confiscated as “degenerate art” during the Third Reich era.

The Hirmer Verlag, Munich, will publish a catalogue in German including two essays and 287 entries.

Press preview: Thursday, 4 September 2008, 11 a.m.

Opening night: Friday, 5 September 2008, 7 p.m.

Curator: Dr. Heinrich Becker, tel. 0049 (0) 241- 4798027


Wilhelmstraße 18, D -52070 Aachen, Tel. +49(0)241-479800, Fax +49(0)241-37075
Tue - Fri 12 am - 6 pm, Wed 12 am - 8 pm, Sat + Sun 11 am - 6 pm, Mon closed

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