ƒ: In addition to the regular Buyer’s premium, a commission of 5.5%
inclusive of VAT of the hammer price will be charged to the buyer.
It will be refunded to the Buyer upon proof of export of the lot
outside the European Union within the legal time limit.
(Please refer to section VAT refunds)
Post Lot Text
In medicine, art, philanthropy, and science, Dr. Herbert J. Kayden and his wife, Dr. Gabrielle Reem Kayden, embraced innovative thinking. Remembered by countless patients, students, and artists, they supported scientific research and artistic endeavors with equal curiosity and passion. Their collection of fine art, assembled with scholarship and connoisseurship over many decades, serves as a tangible expression of their commitment to learning and to their personal engagement with the art and ideas of their time.
A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia University and New York University College of Medicine, Herbert “Herb” Kayden served as a U.S. Navy physician during the Second World War, and then secured a chief resident position on what is now Roosevelt Island. As a respected cardiologist and professor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center he treated patients, taught students, and conducted significant research in areas such as arrhythmias, lipoproteins, and preventive cardiology.
A fiercely independent woman who maintained her own name throughout her life, Gabrielle H. Reem was born in Vienna, raised in Jerusalem and studied medicine in Basel before immigrating to the United States. A venerated scientist and physician like her husband, she was a professor of pharmacology at NYU. Particularly dedicated to the development of young scientists and doctors, Dr. Reem was the recipient of the John and Samuel Bard Medal in Medicine and Science, among other honors.
After retiring both Drs. Kayden and Reem served as professors emeriti at NYU and became increasingly active as patrons of scientific research. They extended ground breaking financial support to science programs at underserved New York City public schools and funded graduate laboratories at institutions such as the Rockefeller University, the Hebrew University, and Bard College.
ART AS INSPIRATION
Drs. Kayden and Reem's passion for learning and discovery manifested itself in the world class art collection they built beginning in the 1950s. They sought a complement to the innovative thinking they pursued in science by collecting works of signature 20th Century modernists, both European and American, and contemporary artists. Dr. Reem's purchase of a Henry Moore Reclining Figure in 1954 which had been in MOMA's lending program engendered the couple’s decades long pursuit of modern sculpture. As a result of a sustained relationship with Henry Moore developed in the 1970s and several visits to his home and studio in Much Haddham, they added carefully selected works to the collection culminating in a favorite purchase of Butterfly, a unique carving.
As patrons of Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery in the 1950s, they not only developed deep friendships with Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Charles Sheeler, and Jacob Lawrence, but also acquired significant work by all these artists. An abiding friendship with Jacques Lipchitz allowed the Kaydens to acquire a broadly representative collection of this innovative sculptor’s work. While on sabbatical in Paris in 1968, Dr. Kayden sought out Joan Miro and befriended Nadia Leger from whom he purchased a superb Leger canvas dated 1938. Frequent visits with Arnaldo Pomodoro allowed the Kaydens to build one the deepest collections of his work.
In an expression of the Kayden’s deep commitment to the artists they collected and to progressive education, Herbert Kayden donated nearly sixty works by Jacob Lawrence, and one by his wife, Gwendolyn Knight, to Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center in memory of Dr. Reem, who had died in 2011. The Kayden’s connection to Lawrence originated in the 1950s with a fortuitous gallery encounter between the artist and Herbert Kayden. A conversation on art and ideas developed into a decades-long friendship between the Kaydens and the Lawrences. “He painted and drew in a unique way that was very, very appealing,” Herbert Kayden said. In selecting Stanford, Dr. Kayden's goal was to place Lawrence's art in a world class university in a region of the country where his work was not well represented.
“African-American art,” Dr. Kayden asserted, “and his work in particular, are a part of our culture that should be appreciated and disseminated.” In 2015, the Cantor presented Promised Land: Jacob Lawrence at the Cantor, A Gift of the Kayden Family. Following Herbert Kayden’s death in 2014, the exhibition serves as a fitting tribute to a couple who firmly believed in sharing the power of art and education with all.
THE KAYDEN LEGACY
In its richness and quality, their collection embodies two lives spent in the pursuit of knowledge and beauty. In their own words, “There is no question that if you’re taken up with art, the art world, and artists, that it can be enormously gratifying and satisfying; it’s an opportunity to step into a different world and if you are lucky enough to have the door open, you ought to seize it, and take it and enjoy it and revel in it.”