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The painter, illustrator, and printmaker Max Liebermann (1847-1935) was a leader of the modern movement in art in Germany. Initially working in a realist style, Liebermann was integral to introducing impressionism to his home country. In 1898 he founded the Berlin Secession, a collective of progressive artists. He served as the organization's president for over ten years, before resigning due to controversies resulting from his reluctance to include young Expressionists. Liebermann also held the Presidency of the Prussian Academy of Art between 1920 and 1932, when, as a Jewish artist, Nazi persecution forced his resignation. Though he had been a leading figure in German art, the Nazis removed his work from the country's museums and he died ostracized in February of 1935.
A letter from Max Liebermann to Louis Rittenberg, November 1, 1932
In this letter to Louis Rittenberg (1892-1962), a writer and editor of numerous Jewish publications, Liebermann responds to inflammatory comments about Judaism and assimilation made by the playwright George Bernard Shaw in the October 12, 1932 issue of the Literary Digest.