Home » Blog » News: Rutgers Returns Art Stolen by Nazis

News: Rutgers Returns Art Stolen by Nazis

portrait of a young manFor Simon Goodman, reclaiming his family’s art collection is an obsession. Stolen from Goodman’s grandparents during World War II by the Nazi regime, whose higher ups, like Hitler himself, were manic “collectors” of art, the Guttmann (the family name was changed later) estate held works dating from the early Renaissance all the way to the Impressionist era. The collection included over 60 masterworks by artists such as Bosch, Botticelli, Cranach, Holbein, Memling, Degas and Renoir and was well known to the Nazis.
During the onslaught of the war in 1943, Goodman’s grandparents used their collection as a bargaining chip to ensure their safe passage from the Nazi occupied Netherlands to Italy. One of the works to be used in this deal was Hans Baldung Grien’s Portrait of a Young Man from 1509. Well, the Guttmanns never made it to Italy. Instead, the Hitler’s art collector reneged, sending the Guttmanns to concentration camps, where they later died, and looting the family’s 18th century estate in Bosbeek in the Netherlands.
Now years later, Goodman is still searching for the art taken from his family. The latest heirloom discovered during his quest was at Rutgers University, in their Zimmerli Museum. Goodman was surprised to find Portrait of a Young Man listed in the museum’s holdings while leafing through an exhibition catalogue. After making a phone call to the museum’s curator and the museum making the proper investigation into the piece’s provenance, the piece has been returned to the Goodmans.
“It’s almost like coming across a family member,” Simon Goodman said. “It’s something still alive and real – after being smuggled by crooks and Nazis.”
Suzanne Delehanty, director of the museum says of the returning of the work: “What happened in the Holocaust was one of the black moments in human history. You want to do anything you can to correct – in some small way – this historic wrong.”
Zimmerli Art Museum
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ – (732) 932-7237 ‎

View Larger Map

Scroll To Top