The Jewish art collector Max Stern (1904–1987) was born into the art business. His father, Julius, owned Galerie Stern, and upon his death in 1934 it passed into Max’s hands. This was mid-30s Düsseldorf, however, and Nazi power was rising. Stern was ordered to close and liquidate his gallery, and in 1937 he fled Germany, finally settling in French-speaking Montreal. Over the next five decades, he created another art empire, rebuilding his collection and starting a gallery called Dominion. To celebrate a native son, the city of Düsseldorf is exhibiting Stern’s letters, tapes, private documents, personal memorabilia, and even the Gestapo file on Stern, as well as art. The show has not been without controversy. It was supposed to open three years ago, but was cancelled due to the Stern estate’s ongoing campaign to recover 400 works of art confiscated by the Nazis. The estate and the Canadian curatorial team are not taking part in the exhibition. —E.C.
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