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Camera As Witness Series: Reflections on Art through Documentary Filmmaking - "Portrait of Wally"

Stanford Arts Institute and Camera As Witness, School of Education presentREFLECTIONS ON ART THROUGH DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING series co-presented with Stanford Global Studies and Stanford Film SocietyPortrait of Wally(90 min) Austria/USA    Director: Andrew SheaProducers: Andrew Shea, David D’Arcy of Wally, Egon Schiele’s tender picture of his mistress, Walburga (“Wally”) Neuzil, is the pride of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. But for thirteen years the painting was locked up in New York, caught in a legal battle between the Austrian museum and the Jewish family from whom the Nazis seized the painting in 1939. The film traces the history of this iconic image–from Schiele’s gesture of affection toward his young lover, to the theft of the painting from Lea Bondi, a Jewish art dealer fleeing Vienna for her life, to the post-war confusion and subterfuge that evoke The Third Man, to the surprise resurfacing of “Wally” on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. In 1997, when the heirs of art dealer Lea Bondi asked MoMA to hold the painting in New York, MoMA and the Leopold Museum dug in their heels and refused. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau issued a subpoena and launched a criminal investigation. A thirteen-year battle in court followed, tracking the course of a Holocaust property crime and reopening the wounds of one of the century’s worst tragedies—all at a time when the prices of Egon Schiele’s works rose faster than those of any painter on the art market. Schiele collector Ronald Lauder found himself caught between several loyalties—he was chairman of MoMA and the founder of the Commission for Art Recovery, an organization committed to returning looted art to the Jews who lost it to the Nazis. Lauder sided with the Museum, and against the Jewish family. So did all the museums in New York—even the Jewish Museum. The “Wally” case brought the story of Nazi art loot into the open, eventually forcing museums in Europe and the US to return art to Jewish families. Thursday, April 30  6:30PM Reception  7:00PM Screening and DiscussionCERAS building room 101, Stanford Graduate School of Education 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford University Following the screening discussion with well known art/film critic David D'Arcy (one of the subjects of the film) moderated by Jasmina Bojic, Camera As Witness Program Director and Founder of the international documentary film festival UNAFF.  



Thursday, April 30, 2015. 07:00 PM


CERAS Room 101


Stanford Film Society, Camera as Witness Program, Stanford Global Studies Division


(650) 725-0012


FREE and open to the general public