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Art Museum Looking for a Building Finds a Chagall Masterpiece Instead
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), "Apocalypse en Lilas, Capriccio", 1945/47. Gouache, Lavis et encre de Chine sur papier. Signée en bas à gauche, 51.1 x 36 cm. Ben Uri Collection, The London Jewish Museum of Art, 2009.

LONDON.- Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art kick-start their search for a new 20,000 sq ft building in the heart of Central London with an exhibition demonstrating the wealth and depth of the BU Collection, including the unveiling of a rare and unseen masterpiece by Marc Chagall.

Ben Uri was invited by Osborne Samuel to launch their 2010 exhibition programme at their gallery in Mayfair but the exhibition and catalogue had to change with the acquisition of this lost masterwork. “Apocalypse en Lilas, Capriccio” is Chagall's private response to the end of the war, the Holocaust and his wife Bella's death, most likely painted in March/April 1945.

This work has never been recorded outside the archives and never exhibited or published till now. It will be on show as part of the Apocalypse exhibition January 8-31 .

Chairman David Glasser said "This acquisition is a triumph for scholarship and British ethics of hard work and determination. It would have been so easy to conclude that 7 days was all too short for anyone to prepare a case and have the case for funding addressed by The Art Fund and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund."

He continued, "This previously unknown work is Chagall's deeply personal expression of horror and mourning for the Jewish civilisation almost wiped out by the Nazis alongside and merged with grief for his late wife Bella who died 8 months earlier. The news of the mass genocide pouring through the media on the defeat of the Nazis appears to have been the stimulus to bring Chagall back to his easel after 8 months of mourning."

"The Art Institute of Chicago, The Musee d'Arte Moderne, Paris, The Israel Museum and now Ben Uri in London are the four museums across the world that are custodians of this hugely important but tiny body of work where Chagall employs a Jewish Christ between 1938 and 1945.

If the Jewish Community and London in general ever needed a reason to find an appropriate Central London building for this extraordinary Jewish Museum of Art with its National schools learning programs, its Artists' development programs in education and social health, its extraordinary exhibitions and collection then surely this Chagall is surely it!"

Artists exhibited are:
Jankel Adler, Yaki Assayag, Frank Auerbach, Lazar Berson, David Bomberg, David Breuer-Weil, Moshe Elazar Castel, Marc Chagall, Natan Dvir, Sir Jacob Epstein, Mark Gertler, Josef Herman RA, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Jacob Kramer, Emmanuel Levy, Max Liebermann, Abraham Lozoff, Bernard Meninsky, Jacqueline Nicholls, Lélia Pissarro, Orovida Pissarro, Sophie Robertson, Isaac Rosenberg, Reuven Rubin, D. Simkovitz, Simeon Solomon, Solomon J Solomon RA, Clare Winsten, Alfred Wolmark, Joash Woodrow.

The London Jewish Museum of Art | Ben Uri | Osborne Samuel |

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