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Biographical/Historical Information

Richard Beer-Hofmann was born on July 11, 1866, 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, Berta 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 Akademisches Gymnasium. He studied law at the University of Vienna and acquired his law degree in 1890, but he worked primarily as a poet, novelist and dramatist as one of the most influential members of “Young Vienna”, a circle of Viennese writers. 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 emigrated via Switzerland to the United States in 1939, and he died in New York City on September 26, 1945.

Hermann Struck (Chaim Aaron ben David) was born in 1876 in Germany. He is best known as a master etcher, lithographer and early Zionist. He studied for five years at the Berlin Academy and in 1908 wrote "Die Kunst des Radierens" (The Art of Etching), while mentoring artists such as Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. His art was included in an exhibition at the Fifth Zionist Congress and he helped establish the religious Zionist movement called Mizrachi. Struck was an Orthodox Jew but believed that culture and religion could thrive cooperatively in the Land of Israel. He emigrated to Haifa where he created an artistic community and participated in the development of the Tel Aviv Museum and the Bezalel art school in Jerusalem. Hermann Struck died in 1944.

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Struck, Hermann: Richard Beer-Hofmann / portrait by Hermann Struck, Leo Baeck Institute, 91.1.