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Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern

Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern

by Charles Dellheim


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The story of dealers of Old Masters, champions of modern art, and victims of Nazi plunder.
Since the late-1990s, the fate of Nazi stolen art 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. This book tells the epic story of 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 and in the triumph of modern art. Beautifully written and compellingly told, this story takes place on both sides of the Atlantic from the late nineteenth century to the present. It is set against the backdrop of 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 Nazi war against the Jews.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684580569
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
Publication date: 09/21/2021
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 415,899
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Charles Dellheim is professor of history at Boston University. He is the author of The Face of the Past: The Preservation of the Medieval Inheritance in Victorian England and The Disenchanted Isle: Mrs. Thatcher’s Capitalist Revolution.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Reframing the Picture

Part I. The Old Masters’ New Masters
1. Horse Dealer to Art Dealer
2. Treasure Island
3. Assimilating Art
4. Acquiring Eyes
5. Metropolitan Man

Part II. Was Modernism Jewish?
6. Madman and Sons
7. Was Modernism Jewish?
8. First Impressionists
9. Berlin Calling
10. Between Bohemian and Bourgeois
11. The Right Banker

Part III. In The Middle
12. The Wheel of War
13. Brothers-in-Arms
14. Custody Battles
15. In the Market of Love
16. Brothers-in-Law
17. Gentlemen and Players

Part IV. To Have And Have Not
18. Artful Jews
19. Artless Jews
20. Next Year in Paris?
21. After the Fall
22. The Dispossessed
23. The Exiles and the Kingdom
Epilogue: A Crack in Everything

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