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important legal precedence over art replevin on art stolen by Nazis

There's a very interesting story in NYTimes today about art replevin ruling on 2 stolen art works by Ergon Schiele stolen from Fritz Grünbaum, a Jewish art collector, by Nazis. His collection of 449 artworks included 81 drawings by Schiele. Grünbaum was forced, while under duress and imprisoned in Dachua concentration camp, to sign documents saying that he was "willingly selling" his art collection to the Nazis. Grünbaum was killed there in 1941. His art collection was then sold to multiple people. False documents were created to provide fake provenance without mentioning Grünbaum in the ownership chair, although he was well documented in other sources as having owned his collection.

In 2015 two Schiele  drawings, “Woman in a Black Pinafore” (1911) and “Woman Hiding her Face” (1912),  were publicly exhibited in London, which is how Grünbaum's heirs located them. They were purchased six years ago by a London art dealer. The heirs went after the art in court. The art d…

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presidential candidate Mitt Romney bobble head doll

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Sometimes things arrive in collections and you just laugh. Imagine this head bobbing about.  This Mitt Romney bobble head doll came in with an assortment of materials documenting Michigan conservative politics. Because it is a three-dimensional object, I hope to transfer it to our Museum, where the students can take care of it and house it. It is related to our miscellaneous files and books on presidential candidates. We started having an exhibit related to presidential elections before Pres. Obama won and we bought a lot books by and about presidential candidates at that time. I wonder if we'll have another election related exhibit again soon? Antiques Road Show would note that it is in its original box with original protective plastic.On one side it says Hair just like Mitt's!- which is true. On the other side it says, You'll be the envy of your neighbors- not quite true. When I look at his face I am not sure it is the best plastic face likeness of Mitt. It's not qui…

4th of July collections

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We just celebrated our Independence Day. Thank you to those serving in our armed forces, our veterans and those who died while in service to our nation, and to their families.


Besides many books, we have  manuscript collections that mention a July 4th event and patriotic postcards, spanning 1907 to 1918. Here are some examples:



#1
Mrs. L. P. Brock Papers, 1912, 1944,   .25 cubic ft. (in 1 box)
includes V. 2 has a note on the front which reads, "Distinctive celebration of July 4th in Ionia County..." It includes newspapers clippings, 1923-1927, and handwritten notes, 1927-1928, about the topic. The first 4th of July celebration in Michigan occurred in 1834 in Lyons.

Bertha Milligan Brock (1860-) was the curator at the Hall-Fowler Memorial Library in Ionia (Mich.), chair of the historical committee of the D.A. R., and a Michigan author and historian from Ionia County. She was married Loren P. Brock (1854-) and they lived in Ionia. Together they had two children: Stuart Murray (18…

Calkins Hall (dorm) construction and sheep sheds

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We just received a small but significant photograph collection found in someone's CMU office. The five photographs document the construction of the third CMU dorm, Calkins Hall. We had no construction photographs of Calkins prior to this. Calkins was named in honor of R.D. Calkins, head  of the CMU Geography Dept., 1902-1944. Designed by Robert Allen, who designed most of the dorms and buildings on campus during the 1950-1960s, Calkins was constructed in 1957/1958 and opened in Sept. 1958. In two photos you can see the WWII huts, called sheep sheds, in the area known as Vetville. The sheep sheds were supposed to be "temporary" for married verteran students and their familes, but they survived until the early 1980s used for housing, classes, and storage. A friend of mine grew up in them as a young child and reported they were "awful!" as living space. We do not have many Sheep Sheds photos, so their includsion in these photos is also significant. To learn more a…

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