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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 476

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Description: AN ORIGINAL PAINTING OF GERTRUDE LAWRENCE BY FANNY HOLTZMANN
FANNY HOLTZMANN(1902-1980) Pioneering female attorney, a multifaceted Jewish-American dynamo who played an important and influential role in shaping international policy, rescuing scores of Jews during the Holocaust and helping to establishing Israel, also a successful artist whose works grace New York's Museum of Modern Art. As a lawyer specializing in motion picture and copyright cases, Holtzmann's client list read like a who's who, including Noel Coward, Fred Astaire, Clifton Webb, and Gertrude Lawrence, and her personal friends included George Bernard Shaw, Edmund Goulding, Benjamin Cardozo and Eleanor Roosevelt. On the international stage, Holtzmann represented the Republic of China in early charter meetings during the planning of the United Nations and lobbied the UN Special Committee on Palestine for the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Through contacts with European royalty and aristocracy, she learned of Hitler's atrocities and used her celebrity to convince the U.S. Immigration Service to permit hundreds of Jews into the country, also raising money to ensure they would not become dependent upon public funds (although she was able to rescue many immigrants, Holtzmann's own relatives died in concentration camps). In the 1940s the multifaceted Holtzmann took up painting and was signed by greeting card giant Gallery Artists Co. who later became Hallmark. Her original art would display at Leicester Galleries in London to favorable reviews and she later turning to sculpture: her bust of President Eisenhower was featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Offered here is a wonderful item associating two larger-than-life women, an oil painting executed by Holtzmann of her client and close friend actress Gertrude Lawrence. Measuring 9" x 12" on stretched canvas, Holtzmann paints a head and shoulders likeness in rich red tones of the legendary star of Pygmalion, The King and I and The Glass Menagerie, signing "E. HOLTZMANN" at lower right. When Lawrence died of cancer on September 1952, the New York Times tribute to her included a portrait of Lawrence done by Holtzmann, very likely this very painting. With Holztmann's help, Lawrence's widower David was able to establish the Gertrude Lawrence Foundation for cancer research soon after her death. With original weathered frame (detached), very good condition and certainly ideal for display.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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