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David Cohen

(b London, Feb 20, 1911; d London, April 1, 1984).

English collector and writer. Born into a wealthy family that had made its fortune in Australia, he studied at the universities of Oxford and Freiburg and at the Sorbonne in Paris. When, in 1932, he resolved to spend one third of his inheritance (approximately £100,000) on art, he decided to amass the best examples of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Léger, concentrating on their Cubist works of 1906 to 1914. The high calibre of his collection must be attributed in part to this early and consistent focus of attention. He also collected other works by these four artists as well as works by artists unconnected with Cubism, but his principal energies and resources always reverted to this primary objective. After World War II, for example, he sold off most of his works by Joan Miró and Paul Klee to finance the acquisition of superior pieces within his preferred area, but the core of his ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...

Article

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

(b Mannheim, June 25, 1884; d Paris, Jan 11, 1979).

German art dealer, publisher, and writer, active in France. In 1902 he left the Jewish community of Mannheim for Paris, where he assiduously visited museums, galleries, and salons, while training for a career as a banker or stockbroker. In spring 1907 he obtained sufficient funds from his family to launch the tiny Galerie Kahnweiler at 28, Rue Vignon. That year he purchased works at the Salon des Indépendants and at the Salon d’Automne (by Kees van Dongen, Matisse, Derain, and Braque), and in the same year he met Picasso and visited his studio in the Bateau-Lavoir. There he saw the recently completed Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907; New York, MOMA). The visit was decisive. Kahnweiler immediately supported Picasso and also Braque, whose exhibition of November 1908, one of Kahnweiler’s rare one-man shows before World War I, prompted the coining of the term Cubism. Kahnweiler proved instrumental in promoting the style, numbering among his few faithful clients ...

Article

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine

(b Visoko nad Jizerou, Bohemia, May 8, 1877; d Prague, Nov 6, 1960).

Czech critic, writer and collector. He studied in Prague at the Academy of Fine Arts and at Charles University, and later at the University of Vienna. His education led him to form original connections between contemporary art and that of earlier periods. As a theorist he helped to introduce Cubism into Czechoslovakia, while also applying his knowledge of the work of Picasso, Georges Braque, André Derain and others to his analysis of Bohemian Gothic art, in which he was a leading specialist. While living in Paris from 1910 to 1913 he met the dealers Ambroise Vollard and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and most of the painters they represented, becoming a frequent visitor to Picasso’s studio. By 1914 he had formed one of the most substantial collections of Cubist painting, including Picasso’s famous Self-portrait (1907) and Harlequin (1908–9), as well as several Analytical Cubist works such as The Clarinet...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Brooklyn, New York, Aug 11, 1927; d Pound Ridge, NY, Jan 24, 2006).

American art historian and museum curator. Rubin has been credited with defining the historical narrative of modern art through his writings and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the 1970s, and 1980s. The vision of founding director Alfred H(amilton) Barr to establish the Museum of Modern Art as a global authority in modern paintings and sculpture was continued during Rubin’s tenure as Director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art (1973–88).

William was one of three sons of a successful New York textile merchant. Rubin grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York and attended Fieldstone School where he interned on special museum education projects with teacher and mentor Victor D’Amico who was also Director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art. While at Columbia University he joined the military during World War II to serve in the American occupation forces in Europe. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in ...

Article

Rupf  

F. Forter

Swiss collectors. Hermann Rupf (b Berne, 20 Dec 1880; d Berne, 27 Nov 1962) went to Paris in 1902 to train as a banking correspondent, and during his three-year stay he came into contact with contemporary painting. In 1905 he entered his father’s business in Berne but maintained contact with the Paris art scene. In 1907 at the Salon des Indépendants he started buying works by the Fauves, especially Othon Friesz and Derain. On a visit to Picasso’s studio in 1908 he discovered Cubism, and he began to buy paintings by Picasso, Braque and others, generally purchasing them in the same year that they were painted. In 1910 Rupf married Margrit Wirz (d 1961), and in 1913 the couple first bought works by Gris and Léger, as well as acquiring one of Picasso’s most important Cubist works, Violin Hanging on the Wall (1913). They also began to buy drawings by ...