Showpieces. Three portraits from the collection  28 June until 28 August 2013

Carel Willink, Charlotte Salomon and Isidor Kaufmann in the Art Gallery

In the Art Gallery this summer the Jewish Historical Museum is proud to present distinguished work from our own depot. These three paintings, top pieces not on permanent display, will temporarily see the light of day until mid-August 2013.

Carel WillinkCarel Willink
The Dutch artist Carel Willink (1900-1983) made numerous portraits which are unmistakably characteristic of the magical realism painting style - though he preferred to call it imaginary realism. While he saw painting portraits purely as a way of making a living, he still became a master of the genre. In his time, Willink was the Netherlands most famous, most popular and most expensive portrait painter.

Theo Levie (1888-1968) was the long-time director of the N.V. Heerenkleedingfabriek, a men's clothing factory in Groningen, formerly named Brothers Levie. This portrait by Carel Willink was a gift to Theo Levie for the factory's 75th anniversary. Levie is depicted wearing a suit made of mohair with wool: at the time a newly developed fine, thin and shiny fabric. Willink came to Groningen to work on the portrait and for a short time followed Levie in his day-to-day (work) environment. This portrait was donated to the Jewish Historical Museum in 1996.

Charlotte SalomonCharlotte Salomon
Between 1940 and 1942, the German artist Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943) created a series of nearly eight hundred gouaches (watercolour paintings) based on her turbulent and dramatic life story entitled: Life? or Theater? This unique stylised undertaking, which includes narrative images, text and musical elements, has a
specific structure comprised of a prologue, the heart of the work and an epilogue. The story's main characters are based on people who were important in Salomon's life: she gave them stage names.

The series was donated to the Jewish Historical Museum in 1971. This self-portrait, which is independent of Life? or Theater?, was donated to the Jewish Historical Museum in 1979 by Charlotte Salomon's stepmother Paula Salomon-Lindberg (1897-2000).

Isidor KaufmannIsidor Kaufmann
Isidor Kaufmann (1853-1921) was a Hungarian painter who was attracted to the life of the Chassidim, devout Jews who formed a mystical-religious movement in the mid-eighteenth century in Eastern Europe. Kaufmann made several portraits of rabbis and seminary students in their traditional attire.

The painter had his son Eduard (1890-1965) model for this Chassidic boy wearing a prayer shawl, spodik (tall fur hat) and black caftan. The boy is pictured against a curtain. The legible Hebrew text in abbreviation reads 'Torah crown' and the words: 'of the pious society'. Jo Schelvis (1911-1989) donated this painting to the Jewish Historical Museum in 1987 in memory of his daughter Josée Marianne Schelvis (1949-1970).