14. 03. 2024 - News

The Jakov Rubinstein art collection as a guest at Villa Seligmann

From April 14 to June 20, 2024, the private art collection of Jakov Rubinstein will be on display at Villa Seligmann. The exhibition is conceived as an imaginary encounter between two Jewish entrepreneurs and art patrons: The former landlord of Villa Seligmann, Siegmund Seligmann, opens his upper-class villa to the Russian-Jewish collector Jakov Rubinstein and his collection. The result is a symbiosis between painting and domestic architecture, decor and subject matter that is staggered in time but harmonious in content.

“Seligmann and Rubinstein never met because they belonged to different generations and lived far apart. But both, each in their own way, made a significant contribution to the economy and to culture, in the German Empire and in the Soviet Union respectively, and that is the contribution of European Jewry.”
– Olga Sugrobova-Roth, curator of the exhibition

When Seligmann died in Hanover in 1925 at the age of 72, Rubinstein was a 23-year-old student in Petrograd. What the two have in common, however, is their creative spirit and their eagerness to break new ground and be ahead of their time.

Rubinstein’s collection

Jakov Rubinstein was born in Warsaw in 1901, lived in the USSR and died in Moscow in 1983. He studied economics. In the 1950s, he founded an art collection that mainly contained works by forgotten artists from the USSR. Despite all the adversities he faced as a Jewish art collector in the USSR, he managed to build up one of the most important and extensive collections in Soviet Russia and save numerous works from destruction. Rubinstein’s collection was dispersed after his death. Only part of it has survived as a collection to this day. However, the remaining works also give an idea of the character and quality of the original collection.

The collection is maintained and continued by Rubinstein’s granddaughter Tanya Rubinstein-Horowitz (Düsseldorf / Tel Aviv). It comprises around 90 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings and is being made accessible to a broad public for the first time in Hanover.

“I grew up surrounded by works of art – I didn’t know any different and it was a matter of course for me. It was only as an adult that I understood how much art had given me. The care, development and presentation of the collection that I inherited from my grandfather is an indispensable and essential part of my life.” – Tanya Rubinstein-Horowitz, granddaughter of Jakov Rubinstein

Art in the Villa Seligmann

Since 2023, the three large-format sensory allegories created by Ferdinand Wagner for Villa Seligmann in 1906 have once again been shining in their original places. The historically sound examination of family history also constantly produces new insights. Siegmund Seligmann as a patron of the arts is therefore increasingly coming to the fore.

“The in-depth “search for traces” of the past five years has led to a revitalization of the Villa Seligmann in terms of content and society and has brought it further into the public eye as an art object. With the Rubinstein Collection, we are showing a pure art exhibition for the first time and inviting visitors to an imaginary encounter that transcends space and time and embodies the spirit of generosity and hospitality. I am very grateful to Tanya Rubinstein-Horowitz and curator Olga Sugrobova-Roth and look forward to many visits to the exhibition and the events in the supporting program.” – Eliah Sakakushev-von Bismarck, Director of Villa Seligmann

On April 15, curator Olga Sugrobova-Roth will guide visitors through the exhibition in German and Russian. The exhibition will also be on display from 16.04. until 18.06. will be open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission. Further viewing appointments are possible by arrangement.

The exhibition’s supporting program includes a Yiddish song recital on 25 April at 7 pm and the theatrical reading “Souls” on 18 June at 7 pm.

Registrations and tickets for the guided tours as well as further information on the exhibition are now available at www.villa-seligmann.de. Interested parties are welcome to contact us by e-mail at info@villa-seligmann.de or by telephone on 0511 844887-200.