Mr. Rowland began working for Glaser’s heirs more than 20 years ago and recovered art from more than a dozen private collectors and museums, including the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Kunstmuseum Basel. At his death he was still working to reclaim Glaser’s paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Kunsthaus Zurich.
“I always valued his ability to communicate to us that he cared,” said Bettina Basanow, one of Glaser’s heirs, who lives in Denver. “It wasn’t just business. We appreciated him as a friend and lawyer.”
David John Rowland was born in New London, Conn., on March 21, 1956, to Barbara Ann and John Robert Rowland. He spent most of his childhood in nearby East Lyme, where he swam, fished and raced a sailboat in Long Island Sound.
He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and graduated in 1978. Having learned German in high school, he spent his junior year in Vienna.
After graduating from New York Law School in 1983, he returned to Europe while studying at the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific, spending some months at the University of Salzburg and working for a law firm in Munich. His fascination for the German-speaking world greatly shaped his career and took him frequently to Berlin.
In addition to his sister Elizabeth, Mr. Rowland is survived by his mother, Barbara Ann Rowland; another sister, Leslie Rowland Jacques; three nieces; and three nephews.
Not only did he help to recover art, Mr. Rowland also avidly appreciated it. He was a member of the National Arts Club in New York, and in Berlin, where he kept an apartment, he set up a gallery with his friend Frank Kutschera, an architect. They called it Galerie Rowland Kutschera.