Brill Collection

Slide Installation, 2008

After the restitution and delivery of eight works from the Albertina to the descendants of Livia and Otto Brill in 2001, there is one uncertainty that still remains today. The inventory numbers 28028–28030 and 28035–28039 of the eight restituted works show a gap of four numbers. It was soon discovered that two of those “gap numbers” were also works from the Brill collection: they had the collection’s seal. This leaves two inventory numbers unresolved.


28033 is assigned to a sketchbook by Herbert Boeckl and 28034 to a drawing by Stephan Pichler. Both works lack the collection’s seal. Due to insufficient documents (sale contracts, invoices from the Albertina or other attests), their provenience could not be decisively proven. But due to the sequence of the inventory numbers, the time frame of the purchase, the special relationship of the Brill family to the painter Boeckl, the number of Boeckl works in the Brill collection, as well as the unsystematic sealing of the Brill collection, nothing can be ruled out.
It is also a possibility that because of the hasty sales, the works were handed over as an “encore” or “present” to their new owners. Even though these arguments are not airtight proofs, the listed evidence seems to indicate that the works with the inventory numbers 28033 and 28034 in the Albertina also stem from the Brill collection.


Carola Dertnig and Verena Krausneker

Exhibition: Recollecting Looted Art and

Brill Collection -
Questions about 28033 and 28034