Jane Kallir, Co-Director, Galerie St. Etienne, New York
In 1923, Otto Kallir (Jane Kallir’s grandfather) established the Neue Galerie in Vienna. It quickly become one of Austria’s leading showplaces for modern art, exhibiting native artists such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Egon Schiele, as well as bringing the work of foreign masters, such as Vincent van Gogh, to Vienna. After the Nazi Anschluss in 1938, Kallir fled to New York, where he established the Galerie St. Etienne in1939. Over the course of the ensuing decades, he introduced Austrian modernism (previously unknown in the U.S.) to America via a combination of exhibitions, donations and scholarly publications. He also proved instrumental in fostering the restitution of Austrian art stolen by the Nazis. Kallir thus conducted a multifaceted salvage operation, saving not just art objects, but a key chapter in art history, from Hitler’s predations.
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