Granddaughter of French dealer whose collection was confiscated by Nazis opens New York gallery

The Art Newspaper 24 February 2015
By Charlotte Burns

Marianne Rosenberg says she plans to continue the family legacy of working with contemporary artists, as well as show the Modern art her ancestor promoted

Pablo Picasso, Invitation, 1919

The granddaughter of one of the world’s leading dealers of Modern and Impressionist art, whose collection was looted by the Nazis, is launching her own gallery on New York’s Upper East Side.

Marianne Rosenberg, a long time international finance lawyer, has signed a lease on a space measuring around 1,500 sq. ft in the ground floor of a townhouse on East 66th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue, in what was formerly the home of the Dickinson Gallery. The gallery, Rosenberg & Co, is scheduled to open on 7 March and will focus on the secondary Modern market, and also work with contemporary artists.

The first exhibition, “Inspired by History”, will include a range of works referring to the family’s personal history and cultural influence. “My family established their businesses in Paris in the early 20th century and thereafter forged exclusive relationships with artists such as Pablo Picasso—whom my grandfather Paul Rosenberg represented for over two decades—Braque, Matisse, many prominent Cubist artists, Giacomo Manzù, Peter Kinley, just to name a few,” Marianne Rosenberg says. “The inaugural exhibition will celebrate the works and artists from those early periods onwards to the 1980s, and will showcase pieces that are directly part of the history.” The exhibition runs until 25 April.

Many of the paintings, sculptures and works on paper in the exhibition will be for sale, except those with sentimental value for the family such as Still Life with Knife, Glass, and Fruit, 1919, a drawing that the artist Juan Gris dedicated to Léonce Rosenberg, Marianne’s great-uncle, or an invitation to her grandfather’s gallery, which was designed by Pablo Picasso in 1919.

Marianne’s grandfather Paul Rosenberg was part of an art-dealing dynasty that included his father, Alexandre, and brother, Léonce. He was known for promoting Modern art after the First World War.

But, with the Second World War on the horizon in the 1930s, Paul made plans to relocate his collection and leave Paris. He opened a gallery in New York in 1940, but was unsuccessful in getting his entire collection to safety: the Nazis confiscated around 400 works for Hitler’s planned Führermuseum in Austria. The family has been tireless in its efforts to find the missing works, and it is estimated that they have recouped around 340 pieces. None of the works in the show are among those confiscated by the Nazis.

“By opening Rosenberg & Co. I have a great opportunity to honour my family’s heritage and their legacy in the history of art dealers,” Marianne Rosenberg says. “I look forward to beginning a new chapter in my family’s tradition of supporting contemporary artists.”
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