Join author Charles Dellheim and Sylvia Fuks Fried, executive director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, for a discussion of a book that examines a story of dealers of Old Masters, champions of modern art, and victims of Nazi plunder.
Since the late 1990s, the fate of art stolen by the Nazis has become a cause célèbre. In “Belonging and Betrayal,” Charles Dellheim turns this story on its head by revealing how certain Jewish outsiders came to acquire so many old and modern masterpieces in the first place—and what this reveals about Jews, art, and modernity. The book chronicles the fortunes and misfortunes of a small number of eminent art dealers and collectors who, against the odds, played a pivotal role in the migration of works of art from Europe to the United States. It also traces the triumph of modern art on both sides of the Atlantic from the late nineteenth century to the present. The story is set against the backdrop of several critical transformations, among them the gradual opening of European high culture, the ambiguities of Jewish acculturation, the massive sell-off of aristocratic family art collections, the emergence of different schools of modern art, the cultural impact of World War I, and the Nazis’ campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
This program is part of the Brandeis University Press Author Series 2021.