THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1997
AT 2:00 P.M. (LOTS 340-468)
Property from the Collection of
ELEANOR S. and JOHN M. SHOENBERG
Eleanor S. and John M. Shoenberg were second generation St. Louis collectors. John's parents, Sydney M. and Stella H. Shoenberg, collected most of their art works in the early decades of this century. John and Eleanor, or "Ellie" as she was best known, continued the family tradition; they began to collect significant works of art in the early 1950s and continued well into the 1970s. Their personal taste and educated eye informed an intimate collection of diverse yet cohesive art works. While John's parents had focused on the Impressionists and post-Impressionists, the 'modern' art of their era, John and Ellie followed the evolution of painting and sculpture through its most recent developments, collecting across the decades from post-Impressionist to contemporary artists.
John M. Shoenberg was born in St. Louis in 1914. His father was the only son of one of the founders of the May Company department stores. He attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and served in the Army during the Second World War. He later worked in his father's private investment firm in St. Louis.
Eleanor J. Selz was born in Chicago in 1916, the daughter of A.K. and Marion Selz. Her father was the son of the founder of the Selz Shoe Company and later owned the Peerless Candy Company of Chicago. She graduated from Vassar College.
John and Ellie married in Chicago in 1941. They lived all their married life in St. Louis. They had three children and nine grandchildren.
Both John and Ellie were active in civic and philanthropic organizations throughout their lives. John was President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, and served on the board of the Neighborhood House and the Mary Institute School. Ellie was President of the Board of the Women's Exchange in St. Louis, and was active at Washington University. She served on the boards of the Friends of the St. Louis Art Museum, the Laumier Sculpture Park and served with her husband on the board of the Neighborhood House and Planned Parenthood.
Made under the auspices of the Shoenberg Foundation, gifts of art works from the Shoenberg family collection have enhanced the Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary collections of the St. Louis Art Museum. Generous grants have also contributed to the Museum's acquisitions program. The members of the Shoenberg family have also made substantial contributions to Washington University, Vassar College, the Missouri Botanical Garden, The St. Louis Historical Society, as well as other local and national charities.
John M. Shoenberg died in St. Louis in 1974. Eleanor S. Shoenberg survived her husband and continued the Foundation's philanthropic work until her death last year at the age of eighty.
Property from the
ELEANOR S. and JOHN M. SHOENBERG COLLECTION