It was the largest art theft in history, a treasure trove of Picassos, Chagalls and Cézannes heisted by the Nazis. While its fate has long been a cause célèbre, how did the Jewish owners of these masterpieces come to acquire them in the first place?
In Belonging and Betrayal, Charles Dellheim explores that question and what the answer reveals about Jews, art and modernity.
He joins us to discuss Jewish entry into the world of European high culture and to introduce an extraordinary cast of characters on both sides of the Atlantic who, against all odds, played a pivotal role in the migration of works of art from Europe to the United States: Dutch brothers who redecorated Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace before furnishing J.P. Morgan’s mansion; Arabella Huntington, who became the force behind the art collection at California’s Huntington Library; and Bernard Berenson, the first Jew to be lionized by the Boston Brahmins.
Professor of History at Boston University, Charles Dellheim is the author of two prior works of European history.