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In March of 1886, Vincent Van Gogh moved from Antwerp to Paris to live with his brother Theo in Art.

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He very soon became befriended with some of the other artists living there who would become very famous within the next decades, like, for example, Paul Cenac only to Toulouse Lautrec, Emile Bernau and some others. And he learned a lot from them.

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Stephane called off German art experts, and that led to his willingness to make experiments in becoming an artist. When he painted in rather dark, brownish gravestones during his time before in the Netherlands, he now was willing to try out what to do with colour, how to form things with colour in Van Gogh's effort to master oil painting.

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He painted still lifes, mostly flowers. He couldn't afford models. In a space of a few years, he produced dozens and dozens of paintings.

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The Paris period means that Froggatt just had decided to become an artist. He no longer wanted to try other professions like he did before, like being a preacher or a teacher or helping people. He now made the decision I want to be a painter, and he knew that Paris is the place to be. My name is Malcolm Gladwell. You're listening to Revisionist History, my podcast about things overlooked and misunderstood.

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This episode is a continuation of my investigation into the hoarding habits of art museums. It's about one of those dozens of still lifes Van Gogh painted in his Paris period, a small canvas, 17 inches by 14 inches, vase with carnations. That little painting, it turns out, has a strange and troubled history. Van Gogh painted vase with carnations right after his arrival in Paris at some point after his death. Four years later, it was acquired by a wealthy German couple.

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The woman and her husband, about women were one of the most important art collector couples in Frankfurt, in western Germany. They made their money out of business. They very early decided to invest money in works of art, which were not commonly regarded as very important works. So they were very daring collectors. And that shows that it was not only investment, it was also the love of art, which led them to buying works, for example, by Fungo, but also by several impressionist painters.

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Hedderwick Ohman sold Vase with carnations on consignment to an art dealer who took it back to New York just before the Second World War.

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That dealer in turn sold it to William, gets one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, gets in his wife, Edith, daughter of the legendary Louis B. Mayor, had one of the greatest private collections of impressionist art in the world.

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My grandmother was called the hostess of Hollywood, and she spent her entire life hosting a lavish dinner parties, people the likes of Laurence Olivier and Truman Capote and Yul Brynner that gets his granddaughter, Victoria Bleadon.

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I mean, I had dinner with Laurence Olivier when I was six years old. You know, I'd be sitting amongst the fans and later in the day, God and the man. And this is this is this is our childhood, you know, finger bowls and the whole nine yards. And then they would have movies in the living room and in the living room. You seen any pictures of it? But I mean, this is where the Monet, the blue Picasso, the other Picasso was, she had a harlequin, it was called, and all these things were on the wall.

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And all of a sudden we sitting in the living room with couches and everything, and that's that's a painting would come up and the screen will come down. And then we that the priceless art would disappear into the ceiling and a movie screen would descend in its place.

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If that is the greatest metaphor for Hollywood, I don't know what is. In 1956, Kirk Douglas starred in a movie about Van Gogh called Lust for Life. Few people know the real story of this intense, strong willed man. Now his tumultuous career is revealed for the first time with frankness and intimacy with all that.

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If you look at the corner of the movie poster for lust for life, there it is farzat carnations. But by then gets it, sold it. He didn't hang on to his Van Gogh the way he did his other treasures. It wasn't for him. The painting passed to the heiress, to the Kmart fortune, Catherine Kresge, who among other things, was once married to a Swedish baron. She convinced him to leave London and come live with her in her native Detroit.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Swedish parents order for Miss Kresge did not survive the move to Michigan. When Kresge died in 1990, she will vase with carnations to the Detroit Institute of Art, she gave it without restriction, meaning the DIA, as it's known, could do with it what they wanted, sell it, traded. They didn't have to make it part of the permanent collection. Kresge clearly didn't care any more for the painting than gets did, and neither did the desire they put it in a basement.

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For 20 years, Vincent Van Gogh painted many remarkable canvases. This is not one of them.

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He also painted larger flowers, still lives in Paris, but this is a smaller one, the kind of canvas which I think was not meant for sale or as a present for acquaintances or girlfriends or his models or so it was just for trying out things art experts like to damn with faint praise.

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Vase with carnations gets a lot of faint praise.

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It's very nice. It's very profound, but it's not a very, well, spectacular composition or a color combination. It's just a kind of let me try out what happens if I do this, if I do this. And so it's a nice but not really an important work.

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The current head of the Detroit Institute of Art, Salvador Sellar Pons, says the problem is that vase with carnations just doesn't look like a Van Gogh. When you say it doesn't look like a Van Gogh, what do you mean?

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That they look like the sunflowers?

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Yeah, I mean, he's not a typical work like you would like the self-portrait or the works that he did when he was in the south of France.

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Those are the most famous works that the general public knows Van Gogh did.

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Then there is the fact that the painting had a stamp on the back, a sign that it was painted on a fancy bit of stretch canvas. Then go in his Paris HIAS was broke. What was he doing with a fancy canvas? It took years to resolve that particular discrepancy and in the meantime, lots of people began to think of us with carnations, was a fake.

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Later, we discovered that that canvas with. The stop on the back was not actually part of the work, it was added later. So you had the original canvas, then you have a line in canvas glued to the original canvas, and then you had this third canvas with a stencil or a stamp on the back.

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So once we remove that, we understood that was not part of the original work.

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So here we have a Van Gogh that does not look like a Van Gogh that was never intended to be sold or shown or even given away that a German couple bought somewhere around the turn of the century and then sold. That turned up in the home of a Hollywood mogul and served as a prop in a Kirk Douglas movie poster. Then finally landed in Detroit with a Kmart heiress who threw it in as an afterthought when she made her bequest to the DIA, whereupon the painting languished in a cellar for a quarter century because of a dubious bit of canvas glued to the back.

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What's your personal feeling about this painting? Do you like it? Are you drawn to it?

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I like it because I have a personal story connected to it, you know, when I came to the museum, the painting was in storage as an attribute, a painting by Van Gogh with basically no value.

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I was able to bring it up to the galleries and put it together with the other four Van Gogh's that the D.A. has a awarded, that it looks like a painting by a sun painter as considered by by a forger would have no value, no monetary value.

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But the minute we consider it as Brando, it has a value of several million dollars. However, the painting has not changed.

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The painting continues to be what it is. What has changed is the perception that we have on the painting, and that is a really interesting concept to think about. So I like the painting. I lot for that.

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Yeah, but if someone said to you when you retire as director, you can take one of the days, then goes with you, which one would you take.

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Not this one, no. So why should we care about fires with carnations? We shouldn't. It's not the painting that matters. The painting is just a MacGuffin. But Dick Cavett Show, in case you don't know what I mean by MacGuffin, let's consult The Dick Cavett Show, 1972. Cavett guest is the legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock, the great proponent of McGoverns.

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Can you explain what a McGuffin? Yes, a MacGuffin you see in most films about spies, it is a thing that the spies are after. In the days of Rudyard Kipling, it would be the plans of the fort on the Khyber Pass. Mm hmm. It would be in the plans of an airplane engine and the plans of an atom bomb. And if you like, it's always called the thing that the characters on the screen worry about, but the audience don't care.

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Mm hmm.

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The MacGuffin is an object used to propel the plot to motivate the characters, but which has no intrinsic value to anyone else. Pies with carnations is a MacGuffin. It's described in a scene in an English train going to Scotland, and one man says to the other opposite him, he said, what's that passage above your head there now? The man said all that. That's a MacGuffin. It's a what is a MacGuffin, is it?

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Well, it's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands, but there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands. It's a then that's no MacGuffin.

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I thank you for clearing that out for. I repeat, it's not the painting that matters that has always been the mistake with the way people have thought about vase with carnations. No more McGoverns after the break. Let's start this story again. These days, it seems like people are putting CBD in everything is a whole lot of noise. There's one company from Vermont that's worth the hype, Sunsilk. I'm a big SENSOY user.

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Like a lot of you, I have some secrets when it comes to my browsing habits, like how much time I spend every day on car websites. It's incredible.

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If you were to look at my browsing history, you'd be like, does this guy have a life? If my fellow Pushkin's outside, they'd be like, we're paying you for this.

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So do I. Do I go dark now?

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For a lot of people, going dark means incognito mode. But let me tell you something.

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Let's just talk about your family, your great grandmother is Hedwig. Yes, that's correct, yes.

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She came from a family who had for a very long time lived in Frankfurt. You know, many relatives, very embedded history in the city.

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I'm talking with Sophie Ulen. She lives in Melbourne. Her great grandmother was Hedwig Ollman, the first known owner of Vase with carnations.

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Hedwig was born in 1872 into a wealthy family in Germany. Married Albert Ohman, lived with him in a grand residence called the Villa Gerlach in Frankfurt and together built an extraordinary art collection.

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So she collected with a great passion, mediaeval sculpture. That was a huge passion of hers. She collected porcelain, she collected silver. And, you know, she she I believe she had different rooms for each of these passions in her home.

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Hedwig and Albert had two sons and many grandchildren, one of whom was named Claude Sophie's father. Did he remember Hedwig? Ah, he was so attached to Hedwig.

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He he was, I think, the favorite and she was his favorite. He always spoke of a really fondly. And I think he felt that was probably the person he loved the most.

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Did he talk about what she was like? Yes, a little bit, yeah.

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I mean, from what he could remember as a young boy, very warm and loving and quite gentle, incredibly interested in the arts.

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But the life of Claude's grandparents took a sudden turn because the Germans were Jewish.

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Frankfurt was already starting to change by 1933, and I'm not sure exactly what date, but I know that going to the opera became an issue. If you had a Jewish heritage, you couldn't. There was a stage where you couldn't go to the opera, and that was something that Hedvig did constantly. She lived around the corner from the Opera House. You know, her lifestyle started changing. So of my grandparents. So they left. They left first.

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And Hedvig didn't come to Milan to write, you know, maybe within six months, the last six months that they were there. She's going to do a lot in what year and thirty eight, thirty nine, what year do you know? I think it was that right at the end of 1938, the end of 1938 was, of course, Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, when at Hitler's direction, mobs destroyed hundreds of synagogues and yeshivas across Germany.

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It was impossible to be a German Jew after Kristallnacht. And imagine that you were safe. Hedwig's sold off as much of her art collection as she could. She fled to Milan to join her sons. Then the intentions of Mussolini towards Jews became clear and the whole family fled again, this time to Australia.

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So they they got out in the nick of time. Yes, they did.

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And they go via the Panama Canal. I remember my father. I don't know how on earth he could have remembered that because he was just he was under two years of age. But I think it was about a six week trip. And the two brothers with their families, they both had two children each. And Hedvig, as the as the matriarch, they brought her out. So there were there were nine of them.

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They made it to Melbourne, changed their last names. Hulman became Ulen. And in May of 1945, four days before the end of the war, Haddrick died.

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My father, my uncle, probably spent most of their lives just assimilating and embracing the life they had.

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And I think bearing the sadness as much as they could, because there's definitely a sadness. There's gratitude and this sadness, they go they kind of almost they they go along together in our life. And it's come through in my generation, too, in a way. Yeah.

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Then late in his life, Claude Allen decided to revisit the family's past to find the families, our collection that had been lost in the desperate escape from Germany. What do you think motivated him? What was his how would you expressed his desire to pursue these claims without sounding dramatic?

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It's just I know that my father all throughout his life, to some degree, maybe within his psyche, or he struggled with the fact that the family had had to leave Europe. It was like a baseline in his life that there'd been this massive disruption and and it just carried this sense of loss. It started would have started with the loss of Hedvig.

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That would be the first loss he could understand because it was a loved grandmother, the one who gave him who doted on him from the stories, I thought he was the bee's knees and he was closer to his hate to Hedvig than he was to his own mother.

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So Claude Allen sat down and went through his grandmother's papers trying to reconstruct what artworks she and her family had owned in the years before the war and where they had ended up. Some of the works had vanished. Others were in plain sight. You can find a few for yourself if you spend a few hours poking around the Internet. There's a Paul go get sold by Hedwig's sister in law in 1938 as she too fled Frankfurt.

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That painting ended up at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. The family had sold the Gorgan, along with a lovely Van Gogh called the Diggers. The diggers ended up in the hands of a department store heir, who then gave it to the Detroit Institute of Art in the late 1960s. There's a Virgin and Child by Lukas Chronixx, the elder from the sixteenth century, now in the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Then there were the four beautiful wall panels in Hedwig's dining room by the prominent German landscape painter Hans Tomáš.

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Spring, summer, winter, fall. Claude Allen couldn't find out where any of those had gone. And finally there was the small, modest still life acquired by Hedwig and her husband back in the heyday of their collecting vase with carnations. Vincent Van Gogh, 1886.

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I wasn't alive during Hedwig's life time. I wasn't even born I wasn't born for another quarter of a century or even more, but she was very much a part of our lives, which was talked about constantly and very fondly. And her life was all around us in some way.

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As Claude Allen began, his investigation into Hedwig's lost art collections, other Holocaust survivors and her family started to do the same thing. There were conferences, laws passed. Europe in particular, had a growing movement to reconsider the status of art sold, lost or confiscated during the war.

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And it seemed that the world was changing and a restitution might be possible. My father was very excited and hopeful, deeply hopeful about it, whilst I had a very different reaction. I was a young adult at the time. I was almost sort of like, I don't I don't get your hopes up. Don't go there. It's it's it's just going to bring up, I think, because I thought it was going to bring up all these feelings that I knew were down there, but I didn't know what they were.

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And it's it's very it's actually for someone who's third generation is still very confronting. And that's actually surprises me and still continues to surprise me. I never met Hedvig, so why do I feel like this, but I do it is very much a part of me. And it's almost inexplicable, it's I'm sort of trying to interrogate it a little bit more now because I have to face some of these things, some of these situations with the paintings and what to do with the legacy.

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I think it's a really interesting and important point, because, in other words, when your father pursued some of these claims, it's not just about the art, it's about healing.

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Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's not necessarily about material possessions. The material possessions are kind of like the marker or it's everything orients itself around. But it's not actually what this is really all about. The art is a symbol.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it's important to understand what Claude Allen was up against in his attempt to locate his grandmother's lost art collection.

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So allow me digression about a man named Charles Venable.

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Some years ago, Venable was named director of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. It was his first director's job and he decided to begin by taking a close look at the museum's collection.

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And it started with our works on paper collection where we were just going to get and get some expertise in. And we were to look at every single work on paper to help him.

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Venable brought in a former curator from the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has one of the country's best collections of works on paper.

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By the time we went through everything, she said, you have about 50 exceptional pieces out of how many?

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I wasn't a huge collection, but we probably had a couple thousand pieces.

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And then then she said, and here's another group that are nice. But in the end it was like, you should just get rid of all of these.

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Keep the 50 good ones, the pluses, the rest Venable sold at auction.

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And if I'd asked you before that process began in Louisville, what percentage were a plus? What would you have said for some paper?

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Not my curatorial area, but nevertheless, I would have said, you know. You would have to have half of them, I suppose, be exceptional works of art, or why would you have taken them? Venable next became the director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, or, as it is now known, new fields. When he arrived, the museum had 55000 objects. It was adding close to a thousand new objects a year and was on the verge of building a multi-million dollar storage facility to house its ever expanding collection.

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Inventables main thought was, what if Indianapolis was like Louisville and much of the stuff they were storing at such great expense wasn't worth keeping.

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So he and his curators at New Fields began combing through every one of the objects in the museum's collection. They assigned each artwork a grade A was for something that any museum in the world would want. These were things that made sense for Indianapolis to have in its collection pieces were these didn't belong at all.

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The good stuff and the bad stuff were easy to identify, but it took years to figure out the piece and says the curators did tons of research debated and kept going piece by piece. Our collection is now about forty four thousand works of art, down from fifty five, fifty five thousand, but Venables still not finished.

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Right now, our collection, based on six years of ranking, is about thirty three percent a. So right there, those are going nowhere, so there's, you know, thousands of works of art and then clearly we would want a good number of B's of works that we couldn't replace or they're they're considered totally worthy to be in the gallery for one reason or not. But if you take just the CS and the rest of our days, you know, there's probably I'm guessing will be at twenty five, thirty thousand works of art, they have thousands more to go to be auctioned off or given away.

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We have huge, big holdings in contemporary glass, but we don't need four hundred pieces in storage. So we gave one hundred pieces of contemporary glass to the Glik Center for Glass at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, so students could learn technique from them.

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Now, if you listen to the previous episode, you know that no one does this in the museum world. No one tries to get smaller. No one gives things away like that, certainly not on the scale that Venable is doing in Indiana, because most art museums are like Smaug the Dragon.

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They're hoarder's deep in their layers, fiercely guarding their treasures.

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Here's an actual headline from Art News. One of the major publications of The Art World. Quote Is Charles Venable democratizing a great art museum in Indianapolis or destroying it?

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Are you a kind of Marie? Are you the Macondo well, but is your is your apartment, like, minimalist? You get rid of old clothes, you no longer wear them. I mean, does this carry over to your private life?

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Oh, I not particularly. I mean, my husband is much more than Neatnik. Who would say I'm going to go through my clothes and get rid of all these things, whereas I'm saying I will. I just love that shirt. And it might hang in my closet for, you know, years, years.

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It could be 10 years old. Shoes even worse. But that's not running an art museum.

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Charles Venable is different, not because he's some kind of weird neatnik. He's different because he sees the problem his profession has and he's figured out a way to do something about it.

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I asked Randy Frost about what it takes to convince a hoarder to thin their collection. He's the psychologist we met in the last episode who studies hoarding. He told me that with Hoarders, the first step is talking about the object.

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So you're saying in this case, the act of forcing someone to conceive and verbalize they're attached to the object, helps them get rid of it? Yes. Shatters the bond in some way or.

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Well, I think it puts their attachments into the context of the values of their life because we focus a lot on values. What is it that you value in your life? What do you want your life to be like? And once you start talking about this and have these this set of ideas about the value and where you want to go in your life together, it changes the the violence of the object.

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This is what Charles Venable and his curators were doing in Indianapolis as they worked their way through the collection, changing the valence of the objects. They were asking, what is it that we value as a museum?

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Is this object consistent with those values?

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Acquiring art costs money. The museum is a nonprofit with a mandate to serve the people of Indiana. Venable doesn't see how collecting more and more stuff that the public will never see, not to mention spending millions of dollars to warehouse it somewhere, is consistent with that responsibility.

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You need more conservators. You need more art handlers. You need more registrars. You need bigger computer systems.

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If you ask Charles Venable to give up a work of art for some broader, larger reason, he could do it because he's developed a system for giving things up. So I asked him theoretically about how he and his curators might evaluate Vase with carnations if it were in their collection.

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So there's about as famous an artist as you could find, but it's very much a minor work of that artist. Is that not? Is that an knee or not a name?

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I mean, not knowing that particular painting? Yeah. So I'm just thinking as a as an abstract question, famous artist, minor work. We wouldn't call it a day. Yeah.

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We would get we would give it a little bump because it's by Van Gogh, a very famous artist, but it wouldn't make it an A just because it had his name on it. Yeah, it would, it would be a minor work by that artist. And then the questions we would ask is, are we doing a great artist by then? Go in many ways, change the course of Western art history. Are we doing his legacy and his work?

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A good deed by showing a pretty minor, mediocre work in a great institution and particularly an institution that has much better works by Van Gogh, you know, where you can show an A plus at a place like Detroit. Why would you bother with a minor thing? If we were offered a painting like that? We would if somebody wanted, we wouldn't buy it for sure.

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And if somebody wanted to give it to us, we would say, well, this is not something that's right to go on our walls. If you want to give it to us, are you willing to let us sell it and then bring bring the money back to the collection and buy something that your name can go?

[00:34:39]

Charles Venable is adept at changing the valence of the objects in his possession, he can give things up, but he's the exception.

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The rest of the world is still in the grip of their compulsion. Hi, I'm Tony Nuzum. And I'm Paul F. Tompkins, and we are hosting the official Star Trek podcast, Star Trek The Pod Directive.

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We are huge Star Trek fans talking to other huge Star Trek fans who just happened to be award winning actors, writers, politicians.

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We even got a Real-Life astronaut in there and more. We're talking to them all about their love of Star Trek, how it influences their everyday lives and how it continues to impact them and the world around them.

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Subscribe now to Star Trek, the POD Directive on Apple podcasts.

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Live long and prosper. Engage.

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No, we mean no, I'm not Lubutu.

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And this is your Axios Today Newsbreak.

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This summer, there were widespread protests against racial injustice across America and we're just now getting a sense of the price tag in damages, an estimated one to two billion dollars in insured losses. How does that compare to insured losses from natural disasters? Here's Jennifer Kingston. Excuse us, managing editor for business. It's a drop in the bucket. You look at hurricane, say yes, and that will cost three to five billion in insured losses. In general, businesses have had an easier time filing claims for business interruption because of violent protests and they have had filing them for the pandemic.

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This is a totally different story. Your store was looted. You've got business interruption. We'll pay you no questions asked.

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You can hear more stories like this. And Axios today, the Daily News podcast that gets you smarter faster. Subscribe on Apple podcast.

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I'm not Lubutu and I hope you have the best. So back to Claude Allen, who as a child fled Europe with his family about 15 years ago, Allen started asking the museums holding Hedwig's Art to do a version of what Charles Venable does at Indianapolis or what Randy Frost tries to teach Hoarder's to break their attachment to a specific object by asking a broader question about its relationship to their own values. In essence, Allen told the museum's, My grandmother and her family sold some of their prized possessions in a moment of desperation and panic to help finance their escape from certain death.

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Are you sure you feel right about owning an object with that kind of history? Allen started with the Gorgan Street in Tahiti and the Van Gogh, the diggers that were once owned by Hedwig's brother and sister in law. Alan and a group of his relatives approached the Toledo Museum and the Detroit Institute of Art with their requests. The family was forced to give these paintings up under duress in 1938. Could they get them back? And what happened? The two museums turned around and sued the islands.

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That was in order to and this is one of those wonderful legal euphemisms, quiet the title to the painting. And when the case went to court, the museum's won on the narrow grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. According to the federal court in Detroit, the Uhlans case would have been valid only if they had filed a claim for the diggers within three years of when the painting was first sold. It was sold in 1938, so they needed to have asked for it back by 1941, when those members of the Allen family, who had not managed to flee for their lives, were sitting in concentration camps.

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Allen had asked the museums to consider the morality of their attachments. They responded by pointing to the legality of their attachments.

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They don't want to make this about values. No, Horter would.

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Consider the story of another Van Gogh, a spectacular painting called The Night Cafe, it was once owned by a Russian collector.

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The Bolsheviks seized it when they took power in 1918. It's worth hundreds of millions today. Later, it was sold by the Soviets to the heir to the singer sewing machine fortune. The Soviets collected a huge profit. The air later welded to the Yale University Art Museum. Then the original owners, the Senate came together and said that painting was stolen from my great grandfather. Did he give it back? Of course not. They sued the great grandson and won.

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There is a Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum in New York called the actor worth well over a hundred million dollars. It had been owned by Paul and Alice Liftman, a Jewish couple in Cologne, Germany, who fled for Italy in 1937. Sound familiar? They sold the painting to pay for their escape. Their great grannies sued Demet to get it back, saying that it was given up under duress.

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The court ruled in favor of the men. The judge in the case said that the lieutenant's weren't technically under duress because duress for the purposes of the law requires, quote, fear induced by a specific and concrete threat of harm purposefully presented by its author to extort the victim's consent.

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In other words, in order for the lieutenants to get their Picasso back, an official in the Nazi party would have had to come to them in 1937, put a gun directly to their head and say, sell me your Picasso.

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And because the fascists chose to be a touch more subtle in their methods of extortion, that painting still hangs today on the walls of the Met and vase with carnations.

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There's a legal loophole in that case as well, had we gave it to an art dealer in 1938, but that was to sell on consignment and the art dealer took it to New York and didn't get around to selling it until after the war was over. Hedvig may have given it up under duress of the Nazi threat, but it wasn't sold under the duress of the Nazi threat.

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Claude Allen had no legal claim to vases, carnations, just a moral claim and moral claims matched up against the compulsions of the Horder don't amount to much.

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In the end, it was not a museum that returned any piece of Hedwig's original art collection, it was a packaged goods company when it sells flour, biscuits and beer. The ECR group based three hours north of Frankfurt, the Kraft Foods of Germany, the company's former CEO, Rudolf August Atka, had an extensive art collection. The company did a provenance check of his paintings, and they discovered that in 1954, Rudolph had bought one of the four Tomoe Wall paintings that it once hung in Hedwig's living room, a large canvas of children dancing around a blooming tree.

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One day out of the blue, your father hears that one of his beloved grandmother's paintings is coming back.

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Yeah, it's sort of really hit him to the core. The heirs did not know the whereabouts of the painting. I'm reading now from the short statement released by the group after they contacted the island's.

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The company advised them that the painting was in its possession and that it wished to return it to them on moral grounds. The heirs have gratefully accepted. Do you remember can you describe what what happened when he first dad would have cried? Yeah, yeah, he was quite emotional and he was quite emotional about. This aspect, and we had several conversations over it, and and he would cry nearly every single time. Yeah, yeah, yeah, is it a beautiful painting?

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Yes, yeah, it is. It's a beautiful painting, but it also starts to complete the circle within our family.

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The stories we would tell because Hedvig had a room where there were their hands, Toma works. It was a dining room and they were painted around the room. And Hans Tomáš, I think, was one of the artists she loved the most. So to have her work returned was was it was like almost a completion of the circle. And yeah, it was it was deeply meaningful, especially to my father.

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Claude Allen died shortly after his grandmother's painting was returned as vase with carnations, it's still in Detroit. The islands are not pursuing their claims to that painting. They know that never win. And where is the painting currently? Is it now on display or is it still in storage? Where is it now? In the in a museum. It's on display, is being on display. And it was recently featured in an exhibition in the Barberini Gallery in Potsdam next to Berlin about Bangar still likes the Detroit Institute of Art is in midtown Detroit across Woodward Avenue from the main branch of the public library, a beautiful building with an extraordinary collection.

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If you get a chance, go and see a vase with carnations. And if you like it, stop by the gift shop and pick up a pair of vase with carnation socks for nineteen ninety five, one size fits all and vase with carnations alos so for sixteen ninety five in a little around 10 with Van Gogh's carnations on the cover. But don't spend too much time thinking about the painting. The painting is a MacGuffin. Think about where it came from and what it stands for and then do me a favor.

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When you leave, put a note in the suggestion box. I have seen those with carnations. It doesn't belong here. Revisionist history is produced by Miller Bell and Leming EU with Jacob Smith, Hallowes, LITTEN and A.I.M. Our editor is Julia Barton, original scoring by Lewis Scarra, mastering by Flon Williams, fact checking by Beth Johnson, and special thanks to the Pushkin crew Halothane, Kaleem Migliore, Myoclonic, Maggie Taylor, Jason Gambril and of course, Lefay.

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Jacob Weisberg. I'm Malcolm Gladwell.