Second World War

Rubens sketch illegally sold in aftermath of Second World War returned to museum in Germany

The oil sketch “Saint Gregory of Nazianzus” (1621) is one of five works by the Old Master that were unlawfully taken from the Friedenstein Foundation, with two still missing

Andreas Mühe makes wartime bunkers all soft and cuddly for his latest show

The German artist's exhibition at the Kunsthaus Dahlem is a playground with a poignant message

Polish museum receives anonymous package containing lost 17th-century tiles

The tiles decorated the bathing pavilion of Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw before they disappeared during the Second World War

German Academy of Arts opens Otto Dix archive—and recalls a scandal

Dix’s war painting The Trench, lost during the Second World War, is in focus at the opening

American Second World War museum uses AI to tell veterans’ stories

As the generation that served in the war ages, an experiential museum in New Orleans seeks to keep their voices alive

Film preview

Ghosts in the streets: Steve McQueen documentary delves into the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam

The four-hour film, shot mostly during the Covid-19 pandemic, opens in the US on Christmas Day

Film review

The visual thrill of the legendary filmmakers Powell and Pressburger

A rich exploration of the artistry of the film-making duo, founders of the Archers production company, who directed some of the most influential films in the history of cinema, from “A Matter of Life and Death” to “The Red Shoes”

Public art tribute planned for codebreaker Alan Turing as AI summit opens in the UK

Funding for the selected work will come from the government's Town Fund, designed to level up regions outside London

New 3D documentary tells the multidimensional story of American artist H.C. Westermann

Westermann’s hand-carved wooden sculptures pop off cinema screens in Los Angeles and Chicago this month

US authorities return seven Schiele works to heirs of cabaret performer murdered by the Nazis

The seven drawings, seized from public and private collections throughout the US, are collectively valued at nearly $10m

Richard M. Barancik, the last living Monuments Man, has died, aged 98

He was part of a group that saved thousands of artworks during the Second World War from destruction and seizure by the Nazis

Statue of wartime code-breaker Alan Turing proposed for London's fourth plinth

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace made the suggestion following a review of LGBTQ veterans' experiences—but critics point out the minister's contradictory voting record

British wartime control tower to become holiday home after £3.1m restoration

Conservation charity Landmark Trust plans to transform derelict building into unique four-bedroom house, due to open in 2025

Courbet painting—seized by the Nazis and owned by a reverend—to be returned to its original owners

The forest landscape, La Ronde Enfantine, will be returned by the Fitzwilliam Museum, UK, to the heirs of Robert Bing

Booksreview

More than reclining women: how Henry Moore mined a rich seam with his drawings of working men

New book uses artist's wartime commission in a coalmine to show his melancholy side and mildly left political strain,

Virgin Mary and Christ diptych, stolen during Second World War, returned to Poland

The paintings, from the workshop of the Flemish master Dieric Bouts, were transferred from the Museo Provincial de Pontevedra in Spain to Gołuchów Castle

London's Wellcome Collection returns remains of death camp victim to Denmark

Research carried out in 2019 helped identify the remains as Preben Holger Larsen, a 26-year-old artist and member of the Danish resistance

Revealed: the hidden history of espionage in Britain’s heritage sites

New film uncovers how locations including Beaulieu, today home to the National Motor Museum, played a key role in intelligence training during the Second World War

Poland demands Russia return seven paintings it claims were looted during Second World War

Putin’s international cultural envoy, Mikhail Shvydkoy, says Poland’s request has no legal grounds

Mediafeature

New documentary sheds light on artist Eric Ravilious, a romantic visionary lost in war

Ravilious was the first artist to be killed on active service during the Second World War

Could one of these lost Van Goghs—which disappeared during the Nazi period—be hidden in your attic?

These five missing paintings might still survive—possibly looted and secreted away

a blog by Martin Bailey
Museumsreview

From cosy to creepy: new displays at Bletchley Park muddle Britain's honourable Nazi-fighting history with a contested present

The museum—set inside a Buckinghamshire country house—has opened its largest ever gallery, called the Intelligence Factory, this week

Has the art market recovered? A deep dive into the Art Basel/UBS report

Plus, an exhibition about wartime hideouts in Poland and Ukraine, and Mondrian’s final work Victory Boogie Woogie

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Melanie Gerlis. Produced by Julia Michalska, David. Clack, Aimee Dawson and Henrietta Bentall
Sponsored byChristie's
Art marketfeature

Jewish icons or anti-Semitic memorabilia? The growing market for Nazi-era artefacts—and the Israeli collectors buying them

On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we spoke with Eyal Ilya, owner of Pentagon Auction House in Israel, about the trend for Second World War artefacts

‘Slap in the face’: Poland passes law effectively blocking Holocaust-era art restitutions

Lawyers and collectors weigh in on new rule that sets a 30-year limit on claims to property that was stolen by Nazis and Communist leaders

When the US was accused of ‘plundering’ Berlin’s museums: new show reveals murky history

An exhibition opening at the Cincinnati Art Museum reveals how 14 major museums found themselves caught up in a “morally dubious” ­tour of Germany's art treasures after the Second World War

Louvre probes its collection for Nazi and colonial loot in massive provenance research project

Museum launches an online catalogue of 485,000 objects while curators comb through wartime acquisitions and works from former colonies

Hunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War

The Magdeburg masterpiece may have been burned at the end of hostilities—but some believe it might have been looted and survive

a blog by Martin Bailey

In honour of Armistice Day, more than 100 English war memorials listed as sites of historical importance

Monuments commemorating the First and Second World Wars—mostly built in small towns and villages—are added to Historic England's list of protected places

Booksreview

Charting a Life: MacDonald Gill, who designed the inscriptions that form an egalitarian monument to the British and Commonwealth fallen of two world wars

The first biography of ‘Max’ Gill reveals the versatile talent of an artist who was a master of lettering and murals and a standout mapmaker-artist