David Friedmann , Press artist and painter (1893-1980)

The painter and graphic artist David Friedmann lived in Berlin from 1911 and was a student of Herrmann Struck (etching) and Lovis Corinth (painting). Until the Nazis came to power in 1933, Friedmann was a successful artist producing late impressionist landscapes, still lifes, and nudes. In 1938, he fled with his young family to Prague only to be deported in 1941 to the Lodz Ghetto and then in 1944 to Auschwitz. Almost his complete works were confiscated and probably destroyed by the Gestapo.

Friedmann, who had a reputation as an excellent portraitist, had the opportunity in 1924 to sketch, mainly portraits, for various newspapers and magazines. According to his own information, he portrayed hundreds of personalities from the theatrical world and in music, politics, and sports. This volume shows a small selection including Arnold Schönberg, George Szell, Gregor Piatigorsky, Simon Goldberg, Richard Tauber, Leo Slezak, Curt Bois, Carl Ebert, Emanuel Lasker, among others.

On November 8, 2008 at 6:00pm, the eve of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, there will be an exhibition of David Friedmann Art opening at the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall scheduled through January 3, 2009.  Reproductions of thirty discovered portraits will be displayed – of mostly Jewish exiled composers, violinists, pianists, conductors, cellists, who were forced to flee during the Nazi regime.  The portraits were among 200 drawings found in the radio program magazine for all German listeners “Der Deutsche Rundfunk”.  From the hundreds of drawings lost during the Nazi Regime, one has fatefully emerged just in time for the exhibition, the portrait of Czech violin virtuoso Váša Príhoda.

A few interesting  links:

A new publication by Detlef Lorenz focusing on Friedmans portraits.

His Biography and some examples of his editoral graphics

Friedmanns Ghetto-Drawings and Auschwitz-Pictures.

Lost Art Internet Database

New: A film about the exhibition “GIVING MUSIC A FACE – David Friedmann’s Lost Musician Portraits from the 1920’s”, which took place at the Deutsches Haus at NYU in February 2012

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