Self-portrait with his first wife, 1842
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A major retrospective at Yeshiva University in August 2001 featured paintings and works on paper by nineteenth-century German Jewish artist Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882), considered by many art historians the greatest Jewish genre painter of his time. Entitled Moritz Daniel Oppenheim: Jewish Identity in Nineteenth Century Art, the exhibition was organized by the Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main, under the patronage of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

The significant body of work produced by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, known as the "Painter of the Rothschilds and the Rothschild of Painters," was a milestone in the history of Jewish art. Since the Middle Ages, Jewish artists had been confined by ghetto walls, unable to study in art schools or with master artists; and their work was restricted to their own Jewish communities. Oppenheim was the first Jewish artist to connect with the artistic currents of the modern era and the first Jewish painter to receive classical academic training. His success afforded him considerable official recognition throughout his life, not only in his own milieu, but also in the larger non-Jewish world.

Drawn from private and public collections in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, France, England, and the United States, the exhibition presented over 90 paintings, 14 works on paper, and a silver and bronze presentation cup designed by Oppenheim. Many of the paintings and drawings were lost during World War II; in 1941, the Nazis confiscated all of the works from Oppenheim's estate. Today his works are scattered in collections and museums the world over. Many works in this exhibition have never been shown in the United States. Some have only recently been discovered and were exhibited at the Yeshiva University Museum for the first time anywhere.

Goblet for Adolphe
Crèmieux, 1842
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Institutional lenders to this exhibition: the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Banque Rothschild in Paris; National Portrait Gallery in London; Israel Museum; Jewish Museum in New York; and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

For more information contact Yeshiva University Museum at 212.294.8330.



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