Warhol's portraits of famous Jews donated to Diaspora Museum
Collection includes portraits of Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka and the Marx Brothers.
A Jewish American collector has donated Andy Warhol's series "Ten Portraits of 20th Century Jews" to Tel Aviv's Diaspora Museum (Beit Hatefuzot), museum curator Hagai Segev said.
Warhol, the American painter and avant-garde filmmaker who was one of the preeminent figures of American Pop Art, painted his portraits of Jewish cultural luminaries in the late 1970s.
The portraits, originally published as a portfolio of silkscreen prints on paper, are of Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir and Gertrude Stein.
Warhol referred to this pantheon of great thinkers, politicians, performers and writers as "Jewish Geniuses," the Jewish Museum site notes.
He was so pleased with the series' commercial success that he decided to make a second version on canvas.
The anonymously donated collection is worth an estimated $100,000.
There are 200 copies of it throughout the world. Part of the series was once exhibited at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
"We are very happy over this important contribution, especially because the Diaspora Museum is becoming the cultural center of the Jewish people," Segev said.