De Hauke and Co—an important dealer of modern art from Europe, selling to American collectors and museums—was run by César Mange de Hauke, and was an offshoot of the renowned Parisian art dealer Jacques Seligmann & Co. Before the Armory show of 1913, Jacques Seligmann had primarily focused on decorative pieces from medieval and Renaissance eras and the 18th century. After the Armory show, Germain Seligman, son of Jacques and by then the head of the company (he dropped the family name’s extra “n”) realized the burgeoning market for contemporary European art and created a separate company for it. César Mange de Hauke was chosen as the head of the New York-based enterprise, De Hauke & Co, and the business prospered, even through the Depression.
Almost every major museum in the United States bought from Seligman and de Hauke during their early years of major acquisitions. American museums formed their collections through an intertwined network of critics, collectors, and dealers, as evidenced by this Modigliani catalogue—which was itself a gift to the Guggenheim from Helen Appleton Read, art critic from 1922 to 1938 for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
There is undeniable emotional power even in the monochromatic reproductions of Modigliani’s paintings. As the unsigned introduction says, “The profound sadness of his destiny permeates all of his works and that gives them their real value. This sadness, infused through the faces of the Modigliani sitters, lends them all an ineffable pathos.”
From our Special Collections Library—explore a 1929 Amedeo Modigliani catalogue, a fascinating historical artifact with links to significant events and art-world workings of the time. #TBT