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Falk, Sally, Mr.

German, 1888 - 1962


Collector Sally Falk was born in 1888 in Heilbronn, Germany, the son of Felix and Ida Falk. In 1899, his father established a cotton processing plant which generated considerable wealth for Sally, who inherited the business in 1916. With his French wife, Adèle [née Demolis] Sally began collecting the art of the impressionists, post-impressionists, and German expressionists. The Falks were patrons of the sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck, whom they met in 1915. Lehmbruck created several portraits of Adèle and Sally, who paid the artist a monthly allowance in exchange for an annual selection of his work. In 1921 part of the Falk collection became the property of the Kunsthalle Mannheim, where it had been on long term loan since 1917. Falk, however, suffered serious financial set backs and had to sell much of his collection in 1918, via the Berlin dealer Paul Cassirer. The following year he sold another significant portion of the collection to a Swiss business man, Rudolf Pfrunder, who in turn sold it to Berlin dealer J. Ber Neumann. The Falks relocated to Geneva and set up a new textile firm, through which they recovered some of their wealth and began collecting anew. In the 1920s Falk became a major collector of the work of Alexander Archipenko, whom he probably had met through Lehmbruck. Archipencko also created a portrait sculpture of the Falks. By the late 1920s, however, the Falks had more business troubles and wer forced to leave Switzerland for France, where they remained during the war years. After the war they moved the Monte Carlo and later San Remo, where Sally died in 1962. Adèle returned to her native Marseilles, where she died in 1971. The Falks had no children.


Michaelsen, Katherine Jánszky. Alexander Archipenko: A Centennial Tribute. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, 1986:100-109

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