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Indepth Arts News:

"Max Stern: The Taste of a Dealer. Works from Private Collections Acquired Through the Dominion Gallery"
2004-09-01 until 2004-10-09
Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University
Montreal, QC, CA Canada

From September 1 to October 9 the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery of Concordia University presents Max Stern: The Taste of a Dealer. Works from Private Collections Acquired Through the Dominion Gallery.  This exhibition celebrates Max Stern, one of Canada's most important art dealers, by bringing together privately owned works of art that were originally acquired through his Montréal art gallery. It presents rarely seen paintings and works on paper by some of Canada's leading artists of the twentieth century including Paul-Emile Borduas, Emily Carr, Jean-Philippe Dallaire, E.J. Hughes, John Lyman, and Jean-Paul Riopelle to name only a few. Stern also introduced Canadian audiences to the work of European sculptors including Auguste Rodin, Hans Arp, Henry Moore, and others.  A selection of sculptures by these artists is also presented in the exhibition.

Max Stern was born in Germany in 1904. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Bonn in 1928 after having pursued studies in art history throughout Europe.  Stern moved to England during the Second World War and subsequently immigrated to Canada.  He was the manager of the Dominion Gallery of Fine Arts for two years before he took ownership of it in 1944 with his wife Iris Westerberg. In the years that followed, the Dominion Gallery became one of the most vital and influential art galleries in the country. It remained opened for over a decade after his death in 1987. Stern will not only be remembered for his discriminating taste in art, but for the dedication that he and his wife showed towards artists, collectors, and public institutions. Max Stern received the Order of Canada in 1984 and an honorary doctorate from Concordia University in 1985.

Max Stern: The Taste of a Dealer. Works from Private Collections Acquired Through the Dominion Gallery is curated by Michel Moreault, who served as Max Stern's assistant at the Dominion Gallery for over 20 years. Stern's legacy towards public collections is the subject of another exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts entitled A Dealer for Living Art. Selected Works from the Max and Iris Stern Donation to Montreal. that will also take place in this fall. An illustrated catalogue has been co-produced by the two institutions on this occasion. Max Stern: Montreal Dealer and Patron includes a commentary by Michel Moreault on his years at the Dominion Gallery and essays by art historian Édith-Anne Pageot, co-curator of the exhibition at the MMFA, and by Professor François-Marc Gagnon on the Concordia exhibition.

The exhibition and the publication were made possible by the generous support of the Max Stern Estate.

John Lyman
Jori Smith in Period Costume, 1890
Oil on canvas
Private collection
Photo: The National Gallery of Canada

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