July 16, 2024

Recently Discovered Gari Melchers Painting Featured in Philadelphia Inquirer

"Winter" by Gari Melchers.

“Winter” by Gari Melchers.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the recently discovered Gari Melchers’ painting, Winter, that was stolen by the Nazis in 1933. The work bears a striking resemblance to a Melchers’ painting, entitled Skaters, that is in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts’ (PAFA) permanent collection.

Winter was among 1,200 works the Nazis looted from the collection owned by the descendants of Jewish publisher Rudolf Mosse, who were persecuted and forced to flee from Germany. It was later auctioned off in New York City to Bartlett Arkell, the founder of the Beech-Nut Packing Co., who in turn, donated it to his museum in upstate New York. On the other hand, Skaters, was purchased by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1901, and has remained there ever since.

Joanna Catron, GMHS’s assistant director and curator, wasn’t surprised that the two paintings look so similar.

“[Melchers] was known to copy or crib from himself multiple times — anything to pay the rent,” Catron told the Inquirer, adding that GMHS owns a pastel version of the oil painting at PAFA. “I think this was an instance of, ‘Well, this is so successful, I think I’ll try it in pastel.'” Read more.