Another Stern canvas recovered 

By Karen Herland

For the third time in just over a year, a painting that once belonged to German-Jewish art dealer Max Stern has been restored to his estate, this time with the cooperation of Christieís auction house.

This 17th century painting by Jan de  Vos I has recently been restored to Max Sternís estate. Magnifying glass

This 17th century painting by Jan de Vos I has recently been restored to Max Sternís estate.

Clarence Epstein, Director of the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, worked with Christieís Director of Restitution, Monica Dugot, once it was recognized that the landscape scene was by 17th-century Dutch artist Jan de Vos I.

The Restitution Project involves Concordia, McGill and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Epstein is Director of Special Projects in the Office of the President at Concordia.

The New York State Banking Departmentís Holocaust Claims Processing Office first identified the painting as part of Sternís collection in 2005. The de Vos painting will be on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts early next year.

Letters in Gestapo files demonstrate that Stern was ordered by the Nazis to abandon his career and his familyís art gallery and sell off his considerable art collection in 1935. Although he initially resisted, eventually his collection of hundreds of paintings was scattered, the last of it auctioned off in a forced sale in 1937.

That auction is the theme of an exhibit titled Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern, DŁsseldorf, currently in London as part of a European tour. The exhibit was curated by Catherine MacKenzie of Concordiaís Art History Department with the support of a team of MFA students (Journal, Oct. 26, 2006).

It was in the FOFA Gallery just over a year ago, after a showing in New York City at the Leo Baeck Institute. It is now at the Ben Uri Gallery Ė London Jewish Museum of Art, where it will continue its tour through to the end of December.


Concordia University