The Papers consist of the entire case file from the Searle/Degas legal proceedings–Nick Goodman, et al. v. Searle–which formed the basis for Trienens' book, Landscape with Smokestacks: the Case of the Allegedly Plundered Degas. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, depositions, produced documents, pleadings, research materials, and clippings. There is a certain amount of duplication of documents among the categories, since the same materials (exhibits, affidavits, etc.) were often used by both plaintiffs and defendant.
General Correspondence files, spanning the years 1986-1999, are arranged in reverse chronological order (from most recent date to earliest date). These files include correspondence between the defendant and the members of his legal team, letters from the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and correspondence regarding documents, witnesses, and the day-to-day process of the legal action. Many items are photocopies of original letters, or include attached photocopied documents. The final folder contains details of the settlement of the case. Correspondence Subject Files, organized alphabetically by subject or name, contain correspondence and other documents concerning one person or entity. Five folders contain the attorneys' consultation with their counterparts in England, France, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland. Memoranda were generated by and addressed to members of the Sidley and Austin legal team as they worked on the Searle/Degas case. Subject Files and Memoranda are also arranged in reverse chronological order.
Depositions consist of transcripts of the testimony of the defendant, the plaintiffs, and other parties involved, along with the exhibits and other relevant documents produced as evidence. Between March, 1997 and February, 1998, depositions were taken from art dealer Margo Pollins Schab, Chicago Art Insitute curators Suzanne McCullagh and Douglas Druick; from the expert witnesses; and from consultant Hermine Chivain-Cobb, as well as from Searle and the Goodmans/Gutmanns. Depositions are arranged in chronological order according to the date of the testimony. In some cases, condensed or compressed versions of the transcripts, along with indexes or concordances, accompany the depositions. Many of the exhibits included in the depositions were also brought in as produced documents and/or pleadings.
Produced documents comprise nearly three cubic feet of records. The bulk of the documents—over 5000 pages—was supplied by the plaintiffs; the index alone fills two folders (Box 10, folders 4-5). Each document page is numbered. The defendant's documents consist of DCS 1-1582; the plaintiffs' documents are numbered NSLG 1-5295. Documents include materials directly related to the artwork in question, dating back to letters from Friedrich Gutmann to his children, correspondence between the heirs and the various agencies established at the end of the war to value, locate, and return confiscated goods. Indirectly related materials include reports and interrogations by US and foreign governmental agencies, postwar, regarding known purveyors of stolen art. Many of the plaintiffs' documents are in foreign languages (mostly Dutch, French or German); folders containing translations of the important documents, supplied by translators for Sidley & Austin, are located after the last of the NSLG produced documents. In a number of cases, materials furnished as produced documents also appeared as exhibits to depositions and to pretrial pleadings.
Pretrial memoranda and drafts include proposed statements of uncontested and contested facts and jury instructions, prepared by Sidley & Austin. Pleadings presented at the pretrial conferences on August 5 and August 19, 1998, are arranged in numerical order (Pretrial I: Pleadings 1-89 and Pretrial II: Pleadings 1-40). The Pleadings consist of the legal documents—from the July 7, 1996 Summons to the August 19, 1998 Stipulation of Dismissal—submitted by either side during the course of the legal action. Documents include subpoenas, motions, interrogatories, orders, notices, requests for document production, responses, and statements. Indexes listing the documents submitted are located in Box 16 folder 6 and Box 19 folder 5, respectively. Many of these documents also exist as depositions or produced documents.
Clippings fall into two main categories: those covering the Searle case and the Goodmans/Gutmanns; and clippings regarding related cases or the topic of confiscated art in genera1. Clippings come from newspapers and from general and special-interest magazines published locally or elsewhere in the country. The folders of clippings related directly to the case also include transcripts of radio or television news announcements or interviews with the Goodmans. Many of the clippings are photocopies; all are identified as to their source and date. Clippings are arranged chronologically from earliest to most recent.