In 1901 the first version of the theme “Sewing School – The Workroom of the Amsterdam Orphanage” was property of the Berliner art dealers Fritz Gurlitt and Rudolf Lepke. Between ca. 1907 and the 1920s the painting was recorded within the property of the Berliner art collectors Hempel and Friedberg. Max Silberberg of Wrocław was first recorded owner of the picture, within the exhibition in Berlin, on Max Liebermann’s 80th birthday (1927). During the Nazi regime Silberberg lost the artwork, which through Bruno Cassirer (1934) and dr Fritz Nathan, who was owner of the painting in 1936, entered the collection of the family Krüger-Jöhr in Zurich. As a legacy of the family Krüger-Jöhr the artwork became in 1992 property of the foundation Bündner Kunstsammlung in Chur.
In 1999, as the history of Max Silberberg and his private collection became known, the Kunstmuseum of Chur reimbursed the painting immediately „in the certainty that an artwork with the confirmed status of a robbed one must for ethical reasons be unconditionally returned.“ (Bündner Kunstmuseum, a press release from 1999).
Preußische Akademie der Künste: Max Liebermann. Hundert Werke des Künstlers zu seinem 80. Geburtstag, Berlin 1927
Karl Scheffler, Die Sammlung Max Silberberg, „Kunst und Künstler“, 30 (1931), p. 16
Kunsthalle Bern: Albert Welti – Max Liebermann, Bern 1937,
Matthias Eberle: Max Liebermann, Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde und Ölstudien, vol. 1 No. 1876/30.
Auktion Sotheby´s London, 18.10.2000.
- Dr. Hans-Joachim Hinz