The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, June 22, 2018

Remembering a lost museum: The first Jewish museum and modern art collection of the world
Jewish Museum, entrance hall, c. 1933. © New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum.

By: Dr. Kai Artinger

BERLIN.- Perhaps only a few people in Berlin and elsewhere know that there was a Jewish museum in the German capital from 1933 to 1938. Astonishingly enough, the first Jewish museum worldwide was opened one month before the seizure of power by the National Socialists. It was situated next to the new sinagogue in Oranienburger Strasse, in the centre of Berlin. The collections contained not only art works and historical artifacts of the past but also modern art. In its five years of existence the Jewish Museum was able to build up a unique collection of modern Jewish art and it did it under circumstances, we can call today only hostile in every respect. Finally the museum was closed down on the 10 November 1938 and its collection seized.

The idea of a museum of Jewish culture and art was born in the early twenties. But it took almost another ten years and great efforts by friends and supporters to bring the idea to life at the very end of the Weimar Republic. Despite its late opening and bleak future, the new museum became very soon an important centre of Jewish cultural life. For Jewish artists it was after all the only remaining place in the city to exhibit their work of art in public.

It was at the Jewish Museum, too, where the only memorial show of Max Liebermann took place. The former president of the academy of arts, one of the most famous painters of his time who was immediately forced to resign by the National Socialists, died in complete isolation in 1936. No other institution wanted to remember the great painter who had been in a forerunner of naturalism and impressionism in Germany.

The small but fine exhibition presents above all a selection of the paintings which survived the Third Reich and the Second World War. The paintings are scattered all over the world. But the organizers have traced them to Poland, the United States and Israel. Beside paintings of Liebermann, Lesser Ury, Arthur Segal and others there are also to be seen some individuell rituell objects, photographs and documents on display which give an insight into the original richness of the lost collections.

Unfortunately the information given is a bit sparse. Visitors who want to know it in more detail have to consult the two-volume catalogue. Here we learn in scientific detailedness much about the founders and the difficult conditions the collaborators of the museum had to deal with. Despite these minor flaws the exhibition is highly recommendable and worth a visit. It shows that Jews tried to withstand the fascist terror and barbarism even in the field of arts.

Auf der Suche nach einer verlorenen Sammlung - Das Berliner Jüdische Museum (1933-1938), 10.09.-30.12.2011, Berlin, Centrum Judaicum, Oranienburger Strasse 28/30.

Today's News

November 18, 2011

Famous self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci on display for the first time at exhibition in Turin

Sotheby's Latin American Art evening sale in New York totals $17 million, breaks records

Abu Dhabi Art 2011: 50 prestigious and innovative galleries participate in this year's edition

Gesamtkunstwerk: New art from Germany on show at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Israelis mapping Mount of Olives necropolis using 21st-century technology

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei makes 2.4 million tax battle a 'social performance'

Previously unknown large-scale porcelain farnese expected to make £500,000 at Bonhams

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts acquires ocean without a shore video installation by Bill Viola

Bronze artifact believed to be about 1,000 years old found on Alaska's Seward Peninsula

Bonhams breaks world records in 20th century British and Irish sale held yesterday

Miami Art Museum presents rare opportunity to see works by Marcel Duchamp

Only known Mickey Mouse double-figure Slate Dancer toy at Morphy Auctions

Remembering a lost museum: The first Jewish museum and modern art collection of the world

Julia Marget Cameron's intimate of Virginia Woolf's mother sells for £57,650 at Bonhams

Barbara Kruger at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

Harvard Presents first solo Boston-Area exhibition of Laurel Nakadate's videos

Pakpoom Silaphan "Remastering the Masters" at Scream London

Sotheby's to offer previously unknown manuscript notebook of poems and songs by Rabindranath Tagore

Prehistoric whales exposed in Chilean fossil bed

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful