Max Lazarus: Trier / St. Louis / Denver — A Jewish Artist’s Fate
February 18 – May 7, 2011
Opening Friday, February 18 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Sheldon Art Galleries
Organized by the Stadtmuseum Simeonstift, Trier, Germany, this exhibition traces the life and artistic development of the German-Jewish artist Max Lazarus (1892-1961) through over 50 paintings, lithographs and synagogue designs. An extraordinary colorist, Lazarus produced expressive works that included landscapes, portraits, and some politically charged subjects. Lazarus fled Germany in 1938, after being forced to work secretly in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. He lived first in St. Louis, where he had a family, then moved to Denver, Colorado, where he contracted tuberculosis.
His early career is represented in the exhibition with a self-portrait, several Trier landscapes, and a number of prints. Scenes from his time in St. Louis, like views of the Old Courthouse, Grand Avenue and the United Hebrew Synagogue (now the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center), as well as paintings that reflect the changing Denver cityscape in the 1940s and 50s, are also included. Lazarus’s story stands as an example of innumerable “disrupted biographies” that occurred during the rise of the Nazis to power. Lazarus’s life and career were disrupted twice: first by the Nazis and then by his health. He died in Denver, Colorado in 1961. A selection of Lazarus’s synagogue mural designs will be on view during this time in a separate exhibition in the Bernoudy Gallery of Architecture.
The exhibition is underwritten by the David S. Millstone Arts Foundation with additional support from Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg, The Millstone Foundation, Gary and Sherry Wolff, Esley Hamilton and Angela M. Gonzales.