Max Stern did not live to see the day. In 1937, the Jewish art dealer was ordered by the Nazis to sell his collection of 228 paintings. He then fled to England and later moved to Canada.
One of the paintings from Dr. Stern’s collection was a 1632 Dutch Old Master called “Portrait of a Musician Playing a Bagpipe.” Lawrence Steigrad, a New York art dealer, had purchased it from a London dealer, who called him at the end of March and told him of the paintings origins. It was seized on April 2, 2009, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, to be returned to the estate of Max Stern, who died in 1987. Philip Mould Ltd., the gallery that sold the painting to Mr. Steigrad, has reimbursed the dealer for his purchase.
The painting will be returned in a ceremony April 21, 2009, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. Dr. Stern’s estate was left to to McGill and Concordia Universities in Montreal and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
U.S. Seizes Old Master Lost in Nazi-Era Forced Sale (Update1) [Bloomberg.com; April 21, 2009]
Another painting stolen by Nazis recovered by Montreal art dealer’s estate [Canadian Press; April 21, 2009]