Posts Tagged ‘David Friedmann’


The Lost Art of David Friedmann

August 5, 2010

I am searching for the lost art of David Friedmann (1893-1980). He was a student of Hermann Struck (etching) and Lovis Corinth (painting). He achieved acclaim and a great reputation as a painter known for his portraits drawn from life. His talent for quick sketching gave rise to an additional career as a freelance artist in 1924-1933 for Berlin’s great newspapers and the radio program magazine, Der Deutsche Rundfunk. He was a leading Pressezeichner of the 1920’s and portrayed hundreds of celebrated personalities from the Arts, Music, Theater, Sports, and Politics.

He fled to Prague with his family at the end of 1938, only to be deported to the Lodz Ghetto in October 1941. The Gestapo looted his oeuvre in 1941 in Berlin and again in Prague under the auspices of the Deutsches Reich. His works comprising of 2000 etchings, lithographs, drawings, and paintings are lost without a trace along with art that was sold or displaced as a consequence of war. Some art was saved by fleeing refugees from Hitler and scattered to unknown places throughout the world.

Although few prewar works have surfaced, an amazing treasure of 300 “published” portraits was discovered: Alexander Kipnis, Jan Kiepura, Else Eckersberg, Arnold Schönberg, Georg Széll, Wolfgang Stresemann, Gregor Piatigorsky, Szymon Goldberg, Richard Tauber, Therese Rothauser, Leo Slezak, Curt Bois, Carl Ebert, Emanuel Lasker, Richard Réti, and Ernst Toller, among others.

However, hundreds of portraits still remain elusive, including the twelve-year old Yehudi Menuhin performing at his first concert in Berlin. The drawing appeared on April 13, 1929, the day after his concert and may have been published in any number of newspapers throughout Germany. Other “known” lost portraits are: Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramsey MacDonald, Edouard Herriot, Thomas Mann, Martin Buber, Max Brod, Carl Flesch, Raya Garbusova, Bronislaw Huberman, Jan Kubelik, Edwin Fischer, Rachelle Shubow, Eduard Rothauser, Benjamino Gigli, Mattia Battistini, Max Schmeling, and Ernst Udet.

The portraits were autographed by the subject and signed by the artist in a variety of styles and signatures: D. Friedmann, Dav. Friedmann, DaFrie, Fried, DF, Fr.Dav, or just Friedmann.

I would be grateful for leads to artwork by David Friedmann. My aim is to create a catalogue of his works, evidence of his brilliant career the Nazis could not destroy. Thus, I appeal to the public to join my search and preserve the legacy of this remarkable artist.

For more info:

David Friedmann (1893-1980) Ein Berliner Pressezeichner der 1920er Jahre By Detlef Lorenz; ISBN 978-3-938485-77-4

David Friedmann, A Berlin Press Artist of the 1920’s

Searching for the Lost Art of David Friedmann

Holocaust Era Assets Conference Paper – Artist David Friedmann: A Daughter’s Search for Lost and Stolen Art

Portfolio of Portraits of Famous Chess Masters

Berühmte Musiker – gezeichnet von David Friedmann

— Miriam Friedman Morris,