BOG Opening Festivities- New Exhibition at Stern Gallery: 'Auktion 392 – Reclaiming the Galerie Stern

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[img_assist|nid=497|title=BOG-Stern Gallery Opening|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=60]New exhibition at Stern Gallery: 'Auktion 392 – Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, Düsseldorf'

July 2, 2008 - When Max Stern fled the Nazi threat in Europe, he didn't know if he'd ever be reunited with the art collection that he was forced to leave behind. Now, more than 70 years after his escape, the Stern Gallery at the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus is exhibiting part of his collection.

"Auktion 392 – Reclaming the Galerie Stern, Dusseldorf", which opened during the recent Board of Governors meeting, tells the story of Stern, a prosperous gallery owner and art collector, whose entire collection was confiscated by the Nazi regime. It was forcibly sold at a 1937 auction, at the Lempertz Auction House, bearing the serial number "Auktion 392", hence the name of the exhibit.

"Showing this detailed, personal story in Jerusalem, inside the Hebrew University art gallery named for Dr. Max and Iris Stern, is a singularly important vindication of his life," says Ahuva Passow-Whitman, senior arts curator at the Hebrew University.

Canadian Friends National President Ronnie Appleby with University Vice-President for External Relations Carmi Gillon at the Stern exhibit opening 
 
[img_assist|nid=499|title=Canadian Friends National President Ronnie Appleby with University Vice-President for External Relations Carmi Gillon at the Ste|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=70]The exhibit includes 26 reproductions of his collection, showing a cross-section of the type of works he sold, and a simulation of the auction house where his artworks were ultimately sold.  Passow-Whitman supervised the Jerusalem version of this exhibit, which has been and is still being shown worldwide. Prof. Catherine MacKenzie, head of Concordia University’s Department of Art History, created and curated the original exhibit, which is currently being presented and toured by the Ben Uri Gallery of London.

Dr. Max Stern was born in 1904 in Munich-Gladbach, Germany. After studying art history, he obtained a doctorate from the University of Bonn aged 24. In 1934 he took over the Galerie Stern that he inherited on his father's death. In 1935, his license to trade was withdrawn because he was Jewish and in September 1937, he was forced to sell his artworks and subsequently fled to Paris before joining his sister in London. With the outbreak of war, he was interned as an 'enemy alien' and was further interned in Canada. After nearly two years of confinement he was hired by the Dominion Gallery in Montreal. At the end of the war, Dr. Stern managed to retrieve some of his London holdings, as well as part of his private collection of art confiscated by the Nazis. In 1946, Max married Iris Westerberg, and the two soon became owners of the Dominion Gallery. He died a wealthy man, at age 87. Max Stern never relinquished the idea of retrieving his collection, and though he had little success, his estate executors are still fighting his battle.

The exhibit runs until July 17. Opening times are Sunday through Thursday, 11 am-3 pm. For further details, tel: 02-5883881.

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