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Nazi-Era Provenance Research

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Henri Fantin-Latour
Roses and Flowers in a Glass
19th-20th century French painting
ca. 1856–1904
Oil on canvas, 35.6 cm x 32.1 cm
(14 in. x 12 5/8 in.)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker 1955/1.76

UMMA [1955–present] received as bequest 1 from Dr. Walter R. and Mrs. Margaret Watson Parker, Detroit [1925–1955] purchased August 24, 1925 from; (Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., New York) 2.

1UMMA received as a bequest from Margaret Watson Parker (d. 1936). Her husband, Dr. Walter R. Parker, maintained life interest until 1955.

2Dr. Walter R. Parker purchased on August 24, 1925 from Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd. UMMA has original dealer statement dated October 31, 1925 issued to Dr. W. R. Parker listing an August 24 transaction that includes this painting.


Comments

Primary documents are an ideal way to trace the ownership of a work of art. In the case of this Fantin-Latour painting, UMMA has in its records an original statement from the seller, New York dealer Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., that was issued to Dr. W. R. Parker listing a transaction that took place on August 24 (presumably the same year). The painting is listed with the title and artist’s name. This document provides clear and straightforward evidence that the painting was acquired by the donors before World War II. Although the whereabouts of the painting prior to 1925 are unknown, the painting is not considered to have been at risk for looting by the Nazis since it was owned by the Parkers for the duration of the war.