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Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

Date: late 15th century

Culture: German

Medium: gilded and painted wood
52 1/2 x 16 x 10 in. (133.4 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm)
Credit Line: Friends Fund
Object Number: 221:1961
Place associated:Germany, Ulm
Classification: SCULPTURE
Current Location:On View, Gallery 237
Notes:As the interest and devotion to the Virgin Mary intensified after the 13th century, representations of her took many forms. Images based on the Book of Revelation were intended to emphasize her purity and triumph over sin. This figure of the Virgin Mary, robed in gold and standing on a crescent moon, was inspired by Revelation (12:1): “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet…”
Provenanceby 1937/1938 - early 1940s
Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein, Wiesbaden, Germany [1]

early 1940s -
German National Socialist (Nazi) government, confiscated from Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein [2]

- 1945
Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt, Germany [3]

1945 - 1949
Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, Germany [4]

1949 - 1961
Dr. F. C. Katzenstein, Salem, IL, USA, restituted from Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden [5]

1961 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Dr. F. C. Katzenstein [6]

[1] According to information provided by F. C. Katzenstein, the sculpture belonged to his parents, Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein, who purchased it from an unknown source between 1937 and 1938. F. C. Katzenstein referred to photographs from this time which show the sculpture in his parents' apartment [letter from F. C. Katzenstein dated October 6, 1961; undated supplementary information, SLAM document files].

[2] F. C. Katzenstein left Germany for the United States in 1936, before his parents acquired the sculpture. The object was confiscated by the Nazi government in the early 1940s; Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein died in a concentration camp in 1942 [notes of conversation between Dr. and Mrs. F. C. Katzenstein and Museum Conservator Suzanne Hargrove, March 17, 1992, SLAM document files].

[3] In the 1961 letter (see note [1]), F. C. Katzenstein believed that the work was sold to the Städtische Galerie in Frankfurt am Main (now known as the Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie) after the sculpture was confiscated from Dr. and Mrs. L. Katzenstein by the Nazi Government in the early 1940s. However, documentation from the Central Collecting Point in Wiesbaden states that the sculpture, along with three paintings, was confiscated by the Nazi government and temporarily held by Frankfurt museums [letter dated September 6, 1946 from the Office of Military Government for Greater Hesse, Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, SLAM document files].

[4] The Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden, was a collection center for artworks confiscated by the Nazi government from German owners and institutions in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden [Yeide, Nancy H., Konstantin Akinsha, and Amy L. Walsh. "The AAM Guide to Provenance Research." Washington D.C.: American Associations of Museums, 2001, p. 94]. According to F. C. Katzenstein (see note [1]), the work was removed from the Städtische Galerie after the war and shipped to the Central Collecting Point at Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1945. Confirming this, a copy of a handwritten shipping tag indicates that the sculpture, assigned the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point number WIE 4303, was ready for shipment December 5, 1945. It also reads: "presumed owner: Dr. F. C. Katzenstein. U.S.A. / from Städel. Institut. F/m." [copy of shipping tag, SLAM document files]. The September 6, 1946 documentation/receipt from the Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden (see note [3]), also assigns the sculpture the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point number WIE 4303, and states that the work was "received as the property of Dr. F. C. Katzenstein… Salem, Illinois, U.S.A." The document also states that it was held there "as privately-owned property, not as internal loot," and that it would be delivered to Dr. F. C. Katzenstein "whenever so instructed."

[5] The Central Collecting Point shipped the sculpture to F. C. Katzenstein in Salem, Illinois, in July 1949. Later that year, Mr. Katzenstein lent the sculpture to the Museum where it remained on long term loan until 1961, when the Museum purchased it from him (see note [1]).

[6] Signed bill of sale from F. C. Katzenstein dated October 14, 1961 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and the Advisory Committee of the City Art Museum, October 12, 1961.
Exhibition History
Title: Painted Prayers: Books of Hours from the Morgan Library
Date: October 6, 2004 – January 9, 2005
Venue: Kimbell Art Museum
Venue: SLAM
Venue: GETTY

Publication History
Title: New Acquisition at the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Periodical Title: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Edition: March 1
Year Published: 1962

Title: The Museum Salutes Its Friends
Periodical Title: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Edition: April 9
Year Published: 1972

Title: By the Mississippi
Periodical Title: St. Louis Star Times
Year Published: 1949

Title: Gothic Sculpture in America: II. The Museums of the Midwest
Year Published: 2001

Title: Recent Accession
Periodical Title: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis Poster of Events
Edition: March 1962
Year Published: 1962

Title: Permanent Collection: The Medieval Gallery
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: March - April
Year Published: 1990

Title: Report of the Director to the Administrative Board of Control
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Edition: 53rd Annual Report1961 -1962
Year Published: 1962

In Collection(s)