The AP Art History class has been reviewing the pending court case of a stolen Camille Pissarro painting that is currently on display at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the University of Oklahoma campus. The case alleges that OU came into possession of Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep (La Bergere Rentrant des Moutons) illegally, as this 1886 Camille Pissarro oil on canvas painting was looted by Nazi troops from the possession of Raoul Meyer (father of Leone Meyer) during the invasion of France. Based on the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) guidelines (1999), all museums should properly research objects and artwork before their acquisition to ensure they were not plundered by German troops during the Nazi era. The University of Oklahoma was willed Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep in 2000, and did not properly investigate the provenance of the painting. Additionally, possession of stolen property (whether known or unknown) in Oklahoma is considered “theft.”
The students are circulating a petition encouraging OU to return the painting to Leone Meyer of Paris, France. These petitions will then be submitted to OU President David Boren and the Board of Regents. Oklahoma Rep. Paul Wesselhoft is also leading a campaign against OU and is urging citizens to avoid the Fred Jones Jr. Museum until the painting is returned.
Meyer v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma court document (amended complaint)