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Tenth anniversary celebration at New York's Neue Gallery

On display are a total of 345 items from the private collection of the Museum's  co-founder, Ronald Lauder 

This extraordinary collection is devoted in large measure to Viennese fin de siècle paintings and drawings by Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Gerstl and Kubin as well as decorative arts by Hoffmann and Moser.  Of interest was a transfer drawing on black chalk and paper of Klimt's Jurisprudence, one of the paintings commissioned by the University of Vienna but never displayed because the university authorities deemed it too pornographic.  The painting itself was destroyed in the Second World War.  Also included were a sizable collection of more modern works from German artists including Kirchner, Heckel, Klee, Beckman, Marc, Grosz, Dix, Schwitters, Polk, Beuys, Baselitz, Richter and Kiefer amongst others.  

MimevanOsen.jpgEgon Schiele (1890 - 1918)
Mime van Osen (1910)
Watercolor, gouache, and crayon on paper
The Ronald S. Lauder Collection.

Equally or perhaps even more impressive was Lauder's large collection of paintings and drawings by Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Manet, Klee, Kandinsky, Seurat, Cezanne, Degas and van Gogh and sculptures by Brancusi and Picasso as well as four of Matisse's woman's back series.  

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Woman with a Raven (1904)
Gouache and pastel on paper
The Ronald S. Lauder Collection, New York
© 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New Yor

The exhibit also included examples of medieval art and arms as well as some Old Master paintings by Albrecht Aldorfer and Quentin Massys amongst others.  Lauder himself narrated the audio tour which stressed how he made some of his extraordinary acquisitions.  One did however miss a more scholarly interpretation of this great art.  Few if any modern private collections can rival this in its depth and breadth. 

The comprehensive catalogue has scholarly contributions from several authorities with a foreword by Renee Price, Director of the Neue Galerie 

On view till 2 April.

Part of this article was originally published in The Jerusalem Post on 4 March, 2012

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