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Wilhelm Valentiner

art historian

  • Wilhelm R. Valentiner
  • Wilhelm Reinhold Valentiner
  • William Valentiner
  • W.R. Valentiner

Statements

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From Germany he advised the Detroit Institute of Arts on acquisitions. He returned to the United States in 1921 to catalog he Widener collection at the Metropolitan. He launched the first American exhibition of German Expressionism at the Anderson Galleries, New York, in 1923. The following year Valentiner was appointed director of the Detroit Institute of Art. Valentiner's tenure at Detroit included acquisitions of Pre-Columbian and African art, the first American museum to do so. In 1927 a new building was opened. He became a United States citizen in 1930. Valentiner engaged Diego Rivera to paint the murals of the Detroit Institute, the communist artist's work created a controversy. During the Depression, when the city lacked enough money for his salary, Valentiner returned to Germany for 16 months beginning in 1934. He testified in the 1935 tax case of Andrew Mellon, resulting in the founding of the National Gallery. Valentiner founded the Art Quarterly for the College Art Association in 1937 (and was its editor until 1949). He was Director General for the "Masterpieces of Art" exhibition of the 1939 Chicago World's Fair. He retired from the Detroit Institute of Art in 1944, moving to New York city. (English)
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In 1914 when Germany declared War in Europe, Valentiner returned to Germany, enlisted as a private, and was assigned the Expressionist painter Franz Marc as his sergeant. (English)
Wilhelm Reinhold Valentiner
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Wilhelm Reinhold Valentiner
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