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Biographical/Historical Information

Samuel Maximilian (Max) Rieser was born in Krakow in 1893. He went to Vienna to study law; his studies were interrupted by the First World War, which he spent in Switzerland, associating with pacifistic groups and writing for newspapers. After the war he returned to Vienna, completed his law studies and obtained a position at the Phoenix Insurance Company. Besides his legal work, Rieser wrote literary supplements that appeared in Austrian and Swiss newspapers. After the bankruptcy of the Phoenix Concern in 1938, Rieser opened a private law practice; one of his clients was the childhood friend of Adolf Hitler, Reinhold Hanisch. He immigrated to the United States in early 1939, earning his living through freelance journalism, writing under different pseudonyms for the New York Staatszeitung. After the Second World War Rieser worked for various European newsletters and between 1946 and 1957 for the Common Council for American Unity, an immigrant service organization, as a translator. The money earned through journalism helped to finance Rieser's activities as a philosopher. Specializing in aesthetics, Rieser produced numerous essays, reviews and monographs appearing in different American philosophical journals. Although never having studied philosophy, Rieser was very active in the philosophical world, attending numerous regional, national and international philosophical congresses. He continued these activities almost until the end of his life.

Emil Luethy was born in Basel in 1890. Before 1914 he studied 3 years in Munich. At the start of the war he returned to Basel and attended the private art school of Hermann Meyer, which served as a meeting place for various returning artists. Later, he visited Florence, Vienna, and Paris. Referred to Otto Meyer-Amden and strongly influenced by Lyonel Feininger, he became familiar with figure drawing, also created masterly still life and landscape paintings. Emil Luethy died in Basel in 1966.

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Lüthy Emil: Portrait of Dr. Max Rieser, Leo Baeck Institute, 92.10.