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Richard Beer-Hofmann was born on July 11. 1866. He was the son of Hermann and Rosa Beer. His mother died within a week of his birth and after her death, he was adopted and reared by his uncle and his aunt, Bertha and Alois Hofmann. He spent his early childhood in Brünn (Brno, Czech Republic), where Alois Hofmann owned a textile factory. In 1880 the family moved to Vienna and Richard Beer-Hofmann finished his schooling at the Akademisches Gymnasium. He studied law at the University of Vienna and made his law degree in 1890. Richard Beer-Hofmann had studied law, but he worked as a poet, novelist and dramatist and was one of the most influential members of the circle of Viennese writers known as "Young Vienna". Many of his works deal with Jewish themes and his novel Der Tod Georgs is probably the most representative art nouveau novel in the German language. Richard Beer-Hofmann immigrated to the United States via Switzerland in 1939 and he died in New York City on September 26, 1945.
Oskar Stössel was an Austrian painter and printmaker, known for his portraits and landscapes. Born in Graz, Stössel studied art in Vienna. In 1938, he fled to the U.S. and helped establish the "Austrian Action" group in New York City. He returned to Austria in the 1950s and died in Vienna in 1964.
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Stössel, Oskar, 1879-1964: Portrait of Richard Beer-Hofmann, 1866-1945, Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 85.15.
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