- Category : 1897-births
- Type : PE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
Jewish Dutch art dealer.
Goudstikker was born in Amsterdam, the son of an art dealer, Eduard Jacques Goudstikker (8 May 1866, Venlo - 6 January 1924, Amsterdam) and Emilie Eugenie Sellisberger (16 November 1869, Heidelberg- 11 April 1954, Amsterdam?). He studied at the Commercial School in Amsterdam, and more intensely with Wilhelm Martin and William Vogelsang at Leiden and Utrecht. In 1919 he joined his father's Amsterdam gallery, restructured it as a public limited liability company with himself as the director and major shareholder, and introduced a notably more international style; publishing catalogs in French rather than Dutch, and showing for the first time Italian Renaissance paintings, including The Madonna and Child by Francesco Squarcione. This was revolutionary in the Netherlands of the time, where in 1906, Adriaan Pit, the director of the Rijksmuseum, had stated "We have become chauvinistic with regard to the field of art. This worship of our old school of painting, which started thirty years ago is still alive and appears not to let us appreciate any foreign art."
Following World War I, Amsterdam once again became a center of international commerce, and Goudstikker flourished, along with fellow art dealers, P. de Boer, and Henri Douwes; in 1927 he moved to a larger gallery. Goudstikker rose above his contemporaries, presenting works from the Dutch Golden Age alongside panels by 14th century, 15th century and 16th century Dutch, Flemish, German and Italian painters, mixing paintings, sculptures, carpets, and other works of art together, in the sophisticated style of Wilhelm von Bode of Berlin, much emulated in London, Paris, and New York City. Goudstikker's taste extended to the design of his catalogs, which were minor works of art in themselves.
Goudstikker maintained close ties with art historians and collectors. In the introduction to his 1928 catalog, he wrote "[W]e are happy as a logical development in our Italian department in having obtained the assistance of our compatriot Doctor Raimond van Marle", author of the influential The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. His clients, including J. W. Edwin vom Rath, Baron Detlev von Hadeln, J. H. van Heek, Ernst Proehl, Daniel G. van Beuningen, Heinrich Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon and Otto Lanz, also partook in this mix of connoisseurship and scholarship.
He staged an exhibit of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including five van Goghs, two van Dongens, and a Mondrian, together with a group of 17th century works including a magnificent wooded landscape by Philips Koninck, at the Anderson Gallery in New York City in 1923, organized through the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce; the Committee of Patrons included such society notables as Mrs. T. J. Oakley Rhinelander and Mrs. Cortland S. Van Rensselaer.
The stock market crash and Great Depression took their toll on the connoisseur art trade, as on other luxury businesses. Goudstikker was forced to economize on production of his catalogs, but he still managed to organize a Rubens exhibition in 1933, as well as what may have been his ultimate achievement, participating in the exhibition of Italian Paintings in Dutch Collections at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1934, where he personally showed Queen Wilhelmina the exhibits.
May 10, 1940, the Germans invaded the Netherlands. On May 14th, the day of the bombardment of Rotterdam, Goudstikker and his family fled from Ijmuiden to England with the SS Bodegraven. During the night of 15/16 May, he went on deck and fell in the hold of the SS Bodegraven in the English Channel, fatally breaking his neck.
The Dutch trustee of Jacques Goudstikker, the Jewish accountant Dr. A. Sternheim, who would manage the trading stock of Goudstikker during his absence, had died of a heart attack on 10 May, and Goudstikker had not yet designated a successor for Sternheim.
The art trade remained unattended with a trade stock of 1,113 listed works of art that fell into the hands of Nazi Germany via transactions done by Alois Miedl (3 March 1903, München - 4 January 1990), a friend of Hermann Göring. Miedl was a naturalized Dutch art dealer, originally a German Nazi banker, who was involved with the sales of properties stolen from Jews who had fled or had been deported.
After the war a large part of the collection came into the hands of the Dutch state. The heirs of Goudstikker negotiated for years for the return of the collection after the war.
Goudstikker married twice. On 16 September 1924 he married in Amsterdam Johanna Maria Catharina Bray (ca. 1885, Paramaribo - 5 December 1936, Amsterdam). They had no children. On 24 December 1937, Jacques Goudstikker remarried Désirée Louise Anna Ernestine (Dési) von Halban (10 April 1912, Wien - 12 February 1996, Bilthoven), who was a singer. Her mother, Selma Kurz (15 October 1874, Biala, Galicia – 10 May 10 1933, Wien) was an Austrian operatic soprano known for her brilliant coloratura technique.
They had a son Edouard "Edo" Goudstikker von Saher (25 January 1939, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel - 1996, USA). In 1950, he married Dési von Halban. They had two daughters: Charlène and Chantal.
Charlène G. von Saher (4 December 1974, Wimbledon), a former competitive figure skater, has since the 1990s assisted her mother Marei von Saher in fighting for restitution of Nazi-looted art that belonged to her grandfather. She spoke at the opening of the exhibition Reclaimed - Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.