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Egon Schiele's Portrait of Wally Now on Display - Only Opportunity to See it in the U.S.
Preet Bharara (L), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, looks at the 1912 painting 'Portrait of Wally' by Egon Schiele which is on temporary display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, New York, USA, 29 July 2010. The painting has been subject of a recently settled court case in which the United States ruled for a settlement agreement between the Bondi Jaray estate and the Leopold Museum as a result of a series of events starting with the painting having been stolen from the Bondi Jaray estate by Nazis in 1939. As part of the settlement, the painting will be on display for three weeks at the museum before being placed on permanent display at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. EPA/JUSTIN LANE..

NEW YORK, NY.- After a long awaited settlement regarding the Portrait of Wally, a 1912 oil painting by artist Egon Schiele, the painting will be on view to the public at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust from July 29, 2010 through August 18, 2010 before it is placed on display at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. The Museum of Jewish Heritage was chosen to host the painting by the Bondi Jaray estate who wanted "a setting that would memorialize the suffering of so many in the Holocaust and the resilience and resolve of those who escaped and/or survived."

Museum Director Dr. David G. Marwell said, "We honor the memory of victims of the Holocaust every day at this Museum and we remember the millions who, while they may have themselves survived, lost their communities, families, homes, and property. While they can never recover what they have lost, it is important to set some things right when at all possible—no matter how long it takes. Compensating the heirs of Holocaust victims and survivors represents a small measure of justice, and we commend all parties for their dedication to this cause. We are honored to host Wally for her brief visit at the Museum where she will help our visitors understand an important element of Holocaust Remembrance and make clear that justice – even delayed – is worthy of pursuit."

As part of the settlement, the painting will include a text panel with information about the painting’s journey. Please see the attached page for the full text panel.

On four other occasions the Museum of Jewish Heritage has held ceremonies for stolen paintings or artifacts. The Seamstress, painted by famed German artist Lesser Ury in 1883, was subjected to a forced sale by the Nazis in 1940, but was returned to the Lowenthal Family in 1999. The Loewenthals immediately loaned the painting to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to ensure that the public was able to see it and enjoy it. In February 2001, the Museum hosted the news conference in which Olevano, painted by Alexander Kanoldt in 1927, was returned to the heirs of Holocaust victim Dr. Ismar Littmann. The painting was displayed at the Museum through April 2001. In April of 2009, the 17th-century Dutch painting Portrait of a Musician Playing a Bagpipe was returned to collector Max Stern’s estate and in November of 2009, a rare 16th century Viennese bible was returned to representatives of the Jewish community of Vienna.

On Wednesday, August 18, at 7 p.m. Museum director Dr. David G. Marwell will moderate Wally’s Journey, a panel discussion featuring J.D. Bindenagel, former U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues; Marilyn Henry, columnist, The Jerusalem Post; and other special guests. This program will look at the history of the painting and its owners, the complicated litigation, and the impact the case has had on the art world on the occasion of Portrait of Wally’s last night in New York before returning to its permanent home at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

Museum of Jewish Heritage | Egon Schiele | Dr. David G. Marwell |

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