Special exhibition: Max Beckmann

Herbert Tannenbaum

Painting: Max Beckmann, Portrait of Herbert Tannenbaum
Max Beckmann: Portrait of Herbert Tannenbaum („Tannenbaum is going to America“), Painting, 1947
Kunsthalle Mannheim, ⓒ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015
Special exhibition: Max Beckmann

Herbert Tannenbaum

Bornon 7 March 1892 in Mannheim, Germany
Diedon 30 September 1958 in Frankfurt upon Main, Germany
ExileUnited States of America
RemigrationFederal Republic of Germany
Professionart dealer

Herbert Tannenbaum first met Max Beckmann in around 1920, with the aim of persuading the artist to exhibit at his Mannheim art gallery Das Kunsthaus. Although a solo exhibition did not take place, Das Kunsthaus hosted the graphics show Von Goya bis Beckmann [From Goya to Beckmann] in 1931.

In the same year, Herbert Tannenbaum went into exile in Amsterdam with Max Beckmann. The dealer and the painter often met up with one another there and Beckmann mentions many visits by Herbert Tannenbaum in his diary. The artists showed the latter his illustrations for Apokalypse and his Faust drawings, so he obviously valued Tannenbaum’s opinion. The art dealer in turn supported Beckmann and, in the insecure situation following the War, he bought not only his own portrait from 1947, but also another painting. Tannenbaum’s portrait from that year, which Beckmann entered in his list of paintings as Tannenbaum geht nach New York [Tannenbaum goes to New York], was examined some time ago by a restorer. During this examination, an infrared camera detected the smokestack of a steamship as well as New York’s Statue of Liberty at the top left, beneath the pipe smoke. This discovery and the title show how much Beckmann, whose own emigration to the USA was still uncertain at that time, was occupied with and impressed by the art dealer’s departure overseas.