23 September, 2011

Egon Schiele - Nazi Looted

As with every smart collector, Leopold relied on his own aesthetic instincts and obtained Schiele and other early twentieth-century Austrian artists whilst the prices were low.

In 1955 Leopold, now working in Vienna as a professor of ophthalmology, proceeded to enhance the art historical reputation and hence the value of his collection by curating a highly successful touring exhibition to the more progressive art hubs of Eindhoven and Amsterdam. This was followed in the 1960s by transatlantic validation of the collection, with shows in both London and New York, and Vienna itself finally succumbing to the growing fame of their own native modern artists by exhibiting Leopold’s collection in 1968. In 1972-1973 Leopold followed up the travelling shows by producing an influential monography on Schiele in both German and English editions (published by Phaidon): this brought further widespread exposure to both the artist and the collection. The rise to fame of Egon Schiele was due in the main to Leopold’s collecting strategies.

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