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The Mechner Foundation

The Goal
The Mechner Foundation is attempting to bring the work of the painter Solomon Lerner (ca. 1890-1963) to the world's attention.  Considered by some who are familiar with his work to be one of the great post-impressionists, Lerner achieved only limited recognition, his career having been disrupted by World War II and his paintings scattered.

The Foundation's first goal is to locate as many of his paintings as possible and display digital photos of them on this website.  It is estimated that Lerner produced between one and two thousand paintings, but at the present time -- 2010 -- the Foundation knows the location of only about fifty of these.  The rest are scattered throughout the world, mostly in Israel, the United States, Cuba, France, and possibly Romania.  The Foundation has black-and-white photos of 58 of them, and color photos of an additional dozen.

Once a painting has been located, the Foundation will seek to arrange for it to be photographed professionally.  The long-term goal is to make the art world aware of Lerner's work

The Search for Lerner Paintings
The Foundation has undertaken a worldwide search for Lerner's paintings.  This search has involved the efforts of many people.  The Foundation is currently soliciting assistance in that search, and anyone interested should contact the Foundation.

It is also likely that there are many individuals who have relevant information as a result of having known friends or family members of Lerner's, or owners of his paintings.  Such individuals would be able to assist in the search by supplying leads and information that might be helpful.

The Survival of Art
The survival of great art, whether painting, music, or other, may be the exception more than the rule.  Rembrandt was "discovered" hundreds of years after his death, by a Russian; Van Gogh's work achieved recognition after his death due only to decades of intense promotional efforts by his brother Theo's widow; Franz Schubert's music survived because Robert Schumann happened to discover a treasure trove of the recently deceased Schubert's manuscripts in an old trunk at Schubert's brother's house; and Johann Sebastian Bach was gradually redisovered many decades after his death, due entirely to the efforts of a few cognoscenti.  The history of art and music is replete with additional examples.

Given that the survival of great art so often depends on extraordinary efforts of single individuals and fortuitous circumstances, it is likely that the works of a much larger number of geniuses have been lost and forgotten.  At the present time, Lerner's work is well on the way to that fate.  The Mechner Foundation recognizes Solomon Lerner's genius as a painter and is dedicated to salvaging his work for posterity.

Lerner's Life, Art and Values
For more information about Solomon Lerner, please click here.