Portrait of Francesco de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Fragmentary statue of Hermes with a ram
Ludwig Pollak Collection at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Museum of Ancient Sculpture Giovanni Barracco (1)
Ludwig Pollak Collection at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Museum of Ancient Sculpture Giovanni Barracco (2)
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Works on display at two museums trace the professional and personal history of a great collector

The Jewish Museum of Rome and the Museum of Ancient Sculpture Giovanni Barracco, in Rome, hosted exhibitions that retrace the professional and personal history of the great collector, archaeologist and art dealer, Ludwig Pollak.

Ludwig Pollak was born in Prague in 1868. The works on display recount his origins in the Prague ghetto, to the golden years of international collecting, up to his tragic end in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

Archaeologist, connoisseur and among the most important art dealers of the time, Pollak is remembered for important discoveries, including the finding of the original arm of the Laocoon and of the Athena of Mirone.

The works on display, including paintings, ancient sculptures, Greek vases, watercolours, rare books, period photographs, and archival documents, retrace the many stories that accompanied the life of the great collector.

Also fascinating are the travel photos, taken at the beginning of the twentieth century, which testify to Pollak’s movements and his interests as a collector and archaeologist, with historical images of the Mediterranean East, Greece, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, the Ottoman Empire, and a view of the Roman Forum at the end of the nineteenth century.

He became one of the major protagonists of these important golden years of collecting in archaeology and became a link for the international art market between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Rome, he was an art dealer, a curator, a scholar, and a major contributor to museums.  

Text Museum of Rome and Cammy Yiu / Photos Cammy Yiu