We are happy to announce that “Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera and their Unique Collection: The Untold Story of Passion for Art and Dedication to Building Bridges,” a seminal work on one of the most celebrated private art collections of the 20th century published with the support of Fine Art Shippers, has been included in the collections of Harvard Library’s Judaica division and Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. The book was written by Israeli sociologist of culture and politics Dr. Alek D. Epstein and art historian Sofia Birina.
The Bar-Gera Collection: A Book Supported by Fine Art Shippers Goes to the Libraries of Oxford and Harvard Universities
The book details the journey of two Israeli art collectors, Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera, who amassed a distinctive collection of Russian nonconformist art. Despite increasing interest in public collections, their collection has been mostly overlooked. The book aims to acknowledge its importance and pay tribute to the couple’s cultural background. Additionally, the research in the book has contributed to studying and understanding the cultural history of Russia and the intricate relationships between Israel, Germany, and Russia. Fine Art Shippers played a crucial role in the bilingual Russian-English edition of the book.
The Bar-Gera couple assembled their collection between 1967 and 1991. The gallery they established in Cologne during the 1960s became a notable venue for independent Russian art in Western Europe. Alongside the collections of Norton T. Dodge and Jean-Jacques Guéron, theirs was one of the three most significant collections of uncensored art outside the Soviet Union. It comprised a diverse array of works by different artists, representing the various art movements within the Russian nonconformist movement of the second half of the 20th century. These included prominent figures such as Ilya Kabakov, Oscar Rabin, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Oleg Tselkov, Mikhail Shvartsman, Vladimir Nemukhin, Grigory Bruskin, Dmitry Plavinsky, Vladimir Yankilevsky, and many others.
The Harvard Judaica Collection
The Harvard Judaica Collection, established in 1635, t is an unparalleled source of information on Jewish history and culture in over 50 languages from around the world. The modern Judaica Division, formed in 1962, oversees collection development, digitization, fundraising, publications, and other areas of responsibility. The collection currently comprises more than 820,000 titles, with an annual addition of more than 22,000 items.
The Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library, named after its founder Sir Thomas Bodley, is the principal research library of the University of Oxford, UK, and one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It holds more than 13 million printed materials, making it the second most important library in the country after the British Library.
As part of the Bodleian Library, the Sackler Library houses a significant collection of classical, archaeological, and art history texts. It is particularly notable for possessing 100,000 fragments of Ancient Egyptian papyri called Oxyrhynchus Papyri. It also holds a fragment of a Greek manuscript known as the Heracles Papyrus, featuring a poem about the Labors of Heracles, that dates back to the 3rd century.