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Kallir, Otto, Mrs.

American, born Austria, 1899 - 1992

Kallir, Franziska; Lowenstein-Scharffeneck, Franziska Ludovika Konstanze Amalie Berta, Countess von; Nirenstein, Franziska; Nirenstein, Fanny; Kallir, Fanny


Franziska, Countess von Löwenstein-Scharffeneck, married Otto Nirenstein (later Otto Kallir, 1894-1978) in 1922. Kallir, who changed his surname in 1933 and was founder of the Galerie St. Etienne in New York, had an early career in art publishing. In 1923 he opened the Neue Galerie in Vienna, where he held the first major exhibition of Egon Schiele's work in Europe. In 1930 Kallir published a catalogue raisonné of Schiele's work, and in 1931 earned his Ph.D. in art history from the University of Vienna. Shortly after the Nazis occupied Austria in 1938, Kallir and his family left for Switzerland, then went to Paris where he opened the first Galerie St. Etienne. Kallir opened his New York branch on 13 November 1939 with an exhibition titled "Works of Austrian Masters". The Galerie St. Etienne introduced a number of noteworthy German and Austrian artists, such as Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Alfred Kubin, and Kathe Kollwitz, at a time when this art was practically unheard of in America. In addition to 20th century German and Austrian artists, the gallery also emphasized 19th century art of other nations. Kallir was also known as the "discoverer" of American naive artist Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses, as his gallery held her first one-woman show in 1940. Kallir later wrote a biography of the artist. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS]


New York Times Biographical Service. December, 1978:1199 [obituary of Otto Kallir]

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