Ruthie Research Grant

Ruthie Abend Krigel Tivol was born in Dubienka, Poland in 1929. In December 1938, Ruthie, her sister, and mother joined her father who had immigrated to Kansas City several years earlier.  Ruthie always understood how fortunate her family was to escape WWII and the Holocaust. She never forgot those who were left behind.

As an ardent supporter of MCHE, Ruthie created a legacy — including the Ruthie Tivol Graduate Research Fund which supports scholars conducting graduate research on the Holocaust or a related subject.

Graduate students researching the Holocaust and related history may apply for a grant of $500-$1,000 to support their research costs.  Upon completion of their research, they will make a public presentation based on their research in the Kansas City community.

2023 Inaugural Recipient
Ruthie Research Grant

Beatrice Levine, University of Kansas

Research Topic:

Provenance and Ethical Considerations of Nazi-Looted Art

Beatrice Levin shares remarks with the audience at the Academic Awards Ceremony. 1 May 2023.
Beatrice with Merilyn Berenbom, Ruthie’s daughter.

Excerpt from Beatrice Levine’s Grant Application:

At Hindman [Auctions in Chicago], I saw NSDAP [Nazi] property and several art pieces with dubious provenance make their way to the auction house, often passing through in a private sale on the way to private collectors. When I asked department specialists their best practices when working with NSDAP property or items that could potentially have been looted, most shrugged their shoulders, admitting they had no training nor knowledge of the subject…. This experience profoundly changed my relationship with art history and the ethical stewardship of NSDAP and looted property. Therefore, I changed my research interest, opting to return to school focusing on Holocaust and genocide studies and continuing on to postgraduate study in art history and researching Nazi-era art looting….

…In the future I am interested in returning to the auction world, well-equipped to handle such property in a way that is ethical and honors the legacies of those persecuted by the NSDAP. Furthermore, as a current graduate student, I hope to incorporate what I learn into the University of Kansas’s current art history curriculum as a graduate teaching assistant and eventually a professor of Art History. Because my own undergraduate art historical education lacked any form of provenance training, my immediate goal is to rectify this for KU’s current art history students.

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