The Lost Porcelain of World War II: Restitution and Ceramics
Lucian Simmons will speak about the fate of many of the great ceramics collections of pre-war Europe. He will touch on the Meissen collections of Franz and Margarete Oppenheimer and Hermine Feist as well as the encyclopaedic collections of Emma Budge and the Rothschild family. He will also discuss the role ceramics played in philanthropy and connoisseurship in Weimar Germany, giving examples from collections that he has researched.
Lucian Simmons is Vice Chairman, Global Head of Restitution and Senior Specialist, Global Fine Arts Department New York. He joined Sotheby’s in 1995. Mr. Simmons works extensively with art collectors and their advisors throughout North America and Europe. He has been involved in the sale of some of the most significant artworks to come to auction in recent years, including Onement VI by Barnett Newman (sold for $43.8 million in May 2013) and Bildnis Gertha Felsöványi by Gustav Klimt (sold for £24.8 million in June 2015). He has worked on restitution and provenance issues since 1997 and has been involved in the resolution of claims to artworks worth in excess of $850 million.
Mr. Simmons has a legal background, having been called to the Bar in 1984 and later re-qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, which he remains. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, he was a partner in the London City Law Firm of Barlow, Lyde and Gilbert.
Mr. Simmons has spoken widely on art market issues and in particular on the displacement of art during WWII. He has been interviewed on the subject on television and radio and has appeared in a number of film documentaries. He gives regular seminars at universities and law schools across North America and has given evidence to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport of the House of Commons, London, to the European Parliament, Brussels, and to the Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Assets.
Image: Cream pot, cover and stand, Meissen purple-ground, circa 1730-35, from the Oppenheimer Meissen collection with collection markings.
Institution or Organization name - Connecticut Ceramics Circle and the Greenwich Decorative Arts Society