The European Fine Art Foundation, let’s save art

The European Fine Art Foundation has announced that Neue Galerie New York, USA and the Royal  Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) in Antwerp, Belgium, are the beneficiaries of the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund for the year 2023, an annual donation supporting the indispensable work of the international art community in preserving our artistic and cultural heritage

by Elisabetta Kruger

Thanks to The European Fine Art Foundation, Neue Galerie New York will restore Town among Greenery (The Old City III) (1917) by Egon Schiele (1890-1918), a work that was donated to the museum in 2006.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is the main art museum in Flanders, exhibiting absolute masterpieces ranging from the Flemish Primitives to the Antwerp Baroque, and up to the vast modern art collection including artists like Rik Wouters, Henri de Braekeleer, and René Magritte.

photo by Kirsten Chilstrom.

photo by William Jess Laird.

photo by Kirsten Chilstrom.

Neue Galerie New York is a museum dedicated to Austrian and German art and design from the early 20th century. Located in the Museum Mile in New York, it hosts special temporary exhibitions on rotation throughout the year.

«Egon Schiele finished Town among Greenery about one year before his death, in October of 1918. It is an exceptional and unusual example of a landscape painted by the Austrian expressionist. The restoration of Town among Greenery allows our museum to preserve and safely present this unbelievable work by Schiele for many years to come».
Renée Price, Director at Neue Galerie New York

Previously, the painting had belonged to the family collection of Otto and Marguerite Manley for 90 years, both important Jewish collectors who escaped from Vienna in 1937 and received permission from the authorities to send the painting to the United States in 1948 provided that it be included in the Venice Biennale. This oil on canvas is considered to be one of the most significant landscape paintings by Schiele and it is also one of the last paintings the artist completed before his death. The restoration of this work will stabilise the surface of the painting.

© Julian Cassady Photography.

TEFAF is a non-profit foundation supporting the experience and variety of the global art community. The European Fine Art Foundation stands as an expert guide for private and institutional collectors in the global art market, inspiring art lovers and buyers worldwide.

«Ensuring the preservation of works of art for future generations is one of the core principles of our Museum Restoration Fund, and we are delighted to support these two outstanding projects in 2023. Preserving the painting by one of Austria’s greatest expressionists, alongside Two Girls as Saint Agnes and Saint Dorothea by Michaelina Wautier demonstrates the crucial role played by the Museum Restoration Fund in strengthening TEFAF’s commitment to academic research throughout the history of art». 
Hidde van Seggelen, Chairman of TEFAF

In addition, TEFAF’s financial contribution will support a scientific study of this painting to compare it with other landscape paintings by Schiele to analyse his choice, at the end of his career, to add human figures in some of his works. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, on the other hand, will use the funds to restore Two Girls as Saint Agnes and Saint Dorothea (ca.1650) by Michaelina Wautier (1604–1689), a work that has been in the gallery since 1910.

photo by Rik Klein Gotink.

The portrait shows Wautier’s refusal to limit herself to domestic subjects which female artists were forced to study in her day. Attent on caressing a lamb, the blond girl is interpreting the part of Saint Agnes, while the other is Saint Dorothea, placing roses around a basket of apples and holding a palm of martyrdom in one hand.

Above photo credit © Julian Cassady Photography

(The European Fine Art Foundation, let’s save art – Barchemagazine.com – April 2023)