Jack Baer (art dealer)
Sir Jack Baer
Jack Mervyn Frank Baer
29 August 1924
|Died||4 May 2016(aged 91)|
|Alma mater||Slade School of Fine Art|
|Known for||Chairman, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox|
|Spouse(s)||Jean St. Clair (1952-69)|
Diana Downes Baillieu (1970-his death)
Jack Mervyn Frank Baer was born on 29 August 1924. His father Frank Baer was a business executive for the British Metal Corporation; he was a German Jew who whilst still a young adult had moved to England.
After the War, his father arranged an apprenticeship, in return for an investment, with the art dealer Max de Beer. This ended when de Beer was jailed for fraud, and his father's money was lost. However, he did establish friendships with the lawyer Arnold Goodman, Delves Molesworth, who worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Hungarian art dealer, Max Hevesi.
Hevesi unexpectedly died in 1947, and his son sought the assistance of Baer in winding down the Hazlitt Gallery, which Hevesi had recently started. Instead, it was agreed that Baer should take control of the business.
Baer chose to be in New York City on 1 January 1955, the very day that foreign exchange controls were removed, and quickly acquired 35 works by out-of-favour 19th-century French artists including Corot, Millet and Rousseau, for a mere £10,000. By including these works in shows at Hazlitt, he was able to judiciously influence their popularity.
From 1977 to 1980, Baer was chairman of the Society of London Art Dealers. Baer was a member of the Museums and Galleries Commission, where he worked as chairman of the acceptance in lieu panel; during his tenure, Baer is estimated to have saved £150 million of art for the nation. In 1992, he joined the Reviewing Committee on Export of Works of Art. In 2003, Baer was part of an advisory committee overseeing the updating of information on 1933-45 collections in UK museums.
From 1952 to 1969, Baer was married to the English actress Jean St. Clair, and they had one daughter together. In 1970, he married Diana Downes Baillieu. He died on 4 May 2016, and she survived him, as did his daughter, and two stepdaughters.
- "Sir Jack Baer". The Times. 24 May 2016.
- "Sir Jack Baer, art dealer – obituary". the Daily Telegraph. 8 May 2016.
- "Sir Jack Mervyn Frank Baer (1924-2016), Art dealer". National Portrait Gallery.
- "Master of the art of dealing". The Daily Telegraph. 30 July 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "UK Museums publish update on provenance research for the Holocaust and World War II period". National Museums. 5 March 2003. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Singer, David (October 1998). American Jewish Year, Book 1998. American Jewish Committee, VNR AG. p. 247. ISBN 0874951135. Retrieved 30 May 2016.