The Hare with Amber Eyes at the Jewish Museum — ghosts of a lost world

by AryanArtnews
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In his 2010 memoirs Rabbit with amber eyes, Edmund Dewar tracks the wanderings of his family’s 264 collection Netsuke From his birthplace in Japan to his mansions in Paris and Vienna, he returned to Tokyo and finally to his southern London home. Along the way, these delicate and sometimes grotesque sculptures evolved into literary figures. Condemned and dematerialized, they have become the vibrant spirit of his story, not just physical objects. Now, here they are in the flesh of the Jewish Museum in New York: ivory, boxwood, buffalo horns, boar fangs, but floating in the air is the preliminary poetic de War. It is a sentence.

De Waal worked with architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro to create an exhibition that blends nostalgia and facts. The result is a vibrant three-dimensional version of the book, with a miniature choir commenting on the Ephrussi tragedy.

Meet the engraved characters lined up on the table like a soccer player waiting for a whistle. However, if you turn closer, you’ll see that the action has already started. Here are two people playing a board game on a small boat. You can find a pimplic size checker. With a rat biting its tail and a quintet of scholars wearing beards, scrolls and embroidery robes, the whole group is no bigger than a wine cork.

Rabbit with amber eyes (c1880), signatures on the foreground

Still, despite its number and complex craftsmanship Netsuke Survived events that millions of people didn’t do — almost disappeared at the show, leaving the stage in the ghosts of those who once slipped them into their pockets, caressed them, and carried them across the ocean. At this show, you’ll encounter ghosts in which Jewish families are relentlessly trying to blend in with the world they’ve consumed.

The Fifth Avenue Mansion, a museum that once belonged to the Warburg Bank dynasty, plays an important role in this reenactment. The interior has been tuned to remind you of the Eflussi Palaces in Paris and Vienna, and the lush rooms are packed with expensive chalk. French Impressionist paintings are adorned in a salon style from the walls of the panels. Each of the six galleries represents a different port of call in Odessa as the family moved from Odessa merchants to pan-European aristocrats and survivors scattered across three continents.

Small ivory carvings of two mice biting nuts

Dewar Netsuke survived an event that millions of people did not do

The Netsuke It’s scattered, gathering in groups to watch over a room full of reborn memories. In all this luxury, you tick your pace in their busy, frozen world to reconnect with the little guys who are ticking, nervous, working and yawning. You have to pause and readjust. The entire installation can be read like a meditation on the endurance of evanescence and improbable beauty.

If you are wearing, and should be, an audio guide headset, de Waal will read a book and follow this compressed world. There is no punching number or scan QR code. When you enter the gallery, his voice will automatically turn you, just as he once turned to himself. Netsuke Start their journey and are near the top of the hill. .. .. It’s now pretty badly a medical insurance office. “

Etching of a man with a prosperous mustache, facing down

“Charles Ephrussi” by Jean Patrickott (1905): He was an aestheticist, art historian and collector. .. .. © The Phillips Collection

A small gasping dog carved from wood

.. .. ..Sending family netsuke to a cousin in Vienna

The gorgeous present continues to invade the gorgeously summoned past, and the installations alternately defeat and welcome it. The architect Elizabeth Diller constructed one room to remind us of the glittering house of Charles Eflussi (1849-1905).this Cartier Of a new and wealthy Jew.Proust’s Charles Swann prototype In search of lost timeCharles was an anesthesia, art historian, and collector who spent the writing day in a dressing gown in China and spent the night at a party luxury item.His position at the pinnacle of the art scene gave him a spectacular purchase of the zeitgeist, and French fashion Japonisme Spurred him to collect Netsuke..

The museum displays his Japanese treasures along with his accumulated European works of art, including paintings (and some reproductions) by Berthe Morisot, Monet, Renoir and Gustave Moreau. However, Renoir secretly despised Charles and his preference for “Jewish art.” This did not necessarily mean art made by the Jews.The painter felt that Morrow’s work was particularly tainted by the way it hung very close to his work. Hotel.. “That Gustave Moreau” Renoir groaned in a letter to the art dealer Ambroise Volard. “It was wise for him to accept the Jews and think of painting in gold … Even Eflussi fell to someone I thought really made sense!”

Oil painting of a woman in a cream dress before spraying flowers

Berthe Morisot’s “Girl in a Ball Gown” (1879) is one of the photographs reminiscent of the Parisian environment of Eflussi © Stephane Marechalle / MN-Grand Palais / Art Resources, New York

Such hostility has become larger, more ubiquitous, and impossible to ignore. In 1899, Charles Netsuke I put it in a mirrored display case with green velvet shelves and sent it as a wedding gift to his Viennese cousin Victor.

The exhibition that follows this book turns east and traces the Vienna branch of Eflussi from the pinnacle of their wealth to its decline due to the First World War at the turn of the century. The museum’s era room regrets and whispers its prime numbers too much for the days before the Grand Duke was assassinated.Things got worse, and on March 12, 1938, Austrian executives Palais At Ringstraße. “There is a fist on the door,” de Waal says in a menacing tone.

The Nazis took everything: furniture, artwork, family.only Netsuke Surviving the war, hidden in a mattress, helped by De War’s uncle Iggy, he brought them back to Japan. He then bequeathed them to the author, but it turned out that even the resting place was not final. Most are permanently rented to the Jewish Museum of the Jewish Museum in Vienna, the birthplace of this exhibition, but 79 is missing. In 2018, de Waal auctioned them to benefit refugee charities, and their ghosts appear as projections on the walls of the final gallery.

Dark red wall decorated with oil paintings
The show at the Jewish Museum in New York evokes the wealth and loss of Eflussi © Iwan Baan

After all, this show isn’t about property, it’s about absence and loss. Architectural photographer Iwan Baan recently returned to former Eflussi headquarters to photograph the current state. In Paris, the aestheticist Eden is now a common white office den. The taste and money aristocrats have been replaced by the power of bureaucratic democratization.

In Vienna, Byrne finds a more intact relic, a maze of empty marble rooms wrapped in gold leaf. 40 years Palais Casino housed an Austrian office. In Baan’s photo, it’s a sarcophagus that’s empty and has Starbucks on the ground floor.

Until May 15, 2022. thejewishmuseum.org

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