The Watercolors (Army Center of Military History, Washington, 2005) In October 1908, for a second time, Adolf Hitler requested in vain to be admitted to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, presenting the watercolor reproduced here (top left) and some other works. After World War II the American army discovered four watercolors by Hitler in a German castle. They belonged to the collection of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer. The Führer had given Heinrich Hoffmann the watercolors as a present for his 50th birthday. After the war, they disappeared into the vaults of the Pentagon, near Washington. In 1982, while conducting research for his book Adolf Hitler: The Unknown Artist, Billy F. Price came across the watercolors and acquired the rights to them from Hoffmann’s heirs. A few years later, a long legal battle about ownership of the watercolors began. Billy F. Price sued the US Government for 99 million dollars for being denied the right to exploit the works. The US Government however stated that “The United States is entitled to retain Hitler memorabilia… because we won the war.” The US Government eventually won this legal wrangle in 2002 before the Supreme Court and decreed that the watercolors would never again be allowed to leave the vaults of the Army Center of Military History in Washington.
147 x 117 cm
GERT JAN KOCKEN
THE PAST IN THE PRESENT

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