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Skirball Cultural Center

Immerse yourself in the journey of one family from Czechoslovakia who spent over eighty years trying to recover what the Nazis had stolen from their Jewish family. 

This is a past exhibition

This exhibition was on view at the Skirball October 19, 2023–February 25, 2024

About the Exhibition

Immerse yourself in the journey of one family—and one painting—from 1920s Czechoslovakia to contemporary Los Angeles. RECLAIMED: A Family Painting tells the story of three generations of women who spent over eighty years trying to recover what the Nazis had stolen from their Jewish family during the Holocaust.  

Featuring imaginative evocations of the family’s home, this spotlight exhibition is grounded in the provenance of a beloved Baroque painting by artist Johann Carl Loth. Take a seat at a recreated dining room table, above which the painting was once displayed, and become immersed in the Bloch family's pre-war art collection and historic furniture. Among the artifacts on view are family photographs, letters, clothing, and suitcases that tell this dramatic story of loss, survival, and justice.

Placing the Bloch family’s story in a larger context, the exhibition also showcases heirless Jewish ritual objects from the Skirball collection and presents information about the New York State Department of Financial Services Holocaust Claims Processing Office—a government agency that provides institutional assistance to victims and their families seeking to recover assets that were lost, stolen, or “sold” under duress due to Nazi persecution prior to and during World War II.

By shedding light on personal and institutional efforts, this original exhibition will introduce visitors to the important work of heritage reclamation.  

Curatorial Acknowledgments

RECLAIMED: A Family Painting is an original Skirball exhibition organized by Associate Curator and Collections Specialist Alissa Schapiro. The exhibition was first conceptualized by former Associate Curator Danielle Killam, and Sophie Aaron, Sarah Daymude, and Natalie Riddick provided curatorial assistance.

Related Objects

Visit the Skirball's permanent exhibition, Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America, to explore additional Nazi-looted and restituted objects that are part of the Skirball Museum collection. Look for extended object labels with the RECLAIMED: A Family Painting exhibition title.

More to Explore

This Light of Ours, The American Library, and RECLAIMED—Skirball Curator Talks

In these recorded talks held at the Skirball, enjoy impactful and lively conversations with Skirball curators Alissa Schapiro and Vicki Phung Smith about the fall 2023 exhibitions This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, The American Library by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, and RECLAIMED: A Family Painting. Navigate to these timestamps to specifically hear about each exhibition:

15:50—The American Library
37:56—This Light of Ours

Donor Support

RECLAIMED: A Family Painting and its related educational programs at the Skirball Cultural Center are made possible by generous support from the following donors:

Lisa and Victor Kohn
Matthew Pritzker
Steve Tisch Family Foundation

Media support provided by:

Jewish Journal