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The Lady in Gold; Klimt, Nazis, and Art

  • Congregation Shir Hadash 20 Cherry Blossom Lane Los Gatos, CA, 95032 United States (map)

The Lady in Gold

This lecture will investigate the saga of the Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Seized by the Nazis, it was restored to its Jewish heirs after long legal process. Professor Van A. Harvey's research included corresponding with Anne-Marie O'Connor, author of the book Lady in Gold, and Randol Schoenberg who successfully prosecuted the case for Maria Altman, the rightful heir to the painting.


Van A. Harvey is the George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies (Emeritus ) at Stanford University.  He received a PhD at Yale University in 1957.  He subsequently taught at Princeton, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Pennsylvania before coming to Stanford (1978-1996).

His interest in the culture of Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century grew out of a realization that several important figures in his own intellectual and cultural life - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, and Gustav Klimt - could best be understood against the peculiarities of that culture.  So he decided to make this more than an intellectual hobby when he was able to teach in Vienna during 1984 - and then was employed by the University of Vienna to teach an introductory course on the subject during the 1980s and early 1990s.  He has since taught the subject at Stanford.

Exploring the World of Judaism and Exploring Jewish Culture are programs of Congregation Shir Hadash and Jewish LearningWorks and are supported in part by the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust and the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation.