Portrait of Wally
About The Film
The scandalous lawsuit over a Nazi-plundered painting is dissected in absorbing detail in PORTRAIT OF WALLY, an indignant exposé that reveals the political corruption and moral imperatives behind the New York art world.
Confiscated by the Nazis from a Jewish Viennese art dealer in 1939, the Egon Schiele oil painting of his red-haired mistress resurfaced six decades later in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Thus began a 13-year legal battle pitting the Manhattan district attorney, the U.S. federal government and heirs to the stolen art against the Austrian government, billionaire art collectors, MoMA, National Public Radio – and even the Jewish Museum of New York. The criminal case went on to jumpstart the international art restitution movement, forcing museums to search their collections and return any contested property to the rightful owners.
Culling through extensive interviews, legal briefs and archival footage, filmmaker Andrew Shea deftly navigates the long and ever-twisting odyssey of the titular masterpiece.
Film DetailsDirector: Andrew Shea
Running Time: 90 min.
Subjects: Activism, Arts & Culture, Holocaust, World War II