In 1956, Robinson was forced to sell his art collection in order to pay for his divorce from his first wife Gladys Lloyd. He sold the collection for more than $3 million to Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos. After marrying Jane Adler in 1958, Robinson started to collect art once again. This second collection, which was even bigger than the first, was sold for more than $5 million to an American industrialist a few months after Robinson's death in 1973.
|The Praying Jew|
June 9, 1953
Mr. William Goldberg
726 Somerser Place, N.W.,
Washington 11, D.C.
Dear Mr. Goldberg:
Thank you for your letter of May 30th, 1953. I am very happy that you enjoyed my pictures displayed at the National Art Gallery, in your city. It is quite a coincidence that as you say, "you fell in love" with "Old Jew with Torah" by Chagall, as that picture is one of my favorites also.
I genuinely regret that I have no copy or reprint of the picture; otherwise I would be very happy to send it to you.
If you wish to have said picture photographed while it is hanging in the gallery, you have my permission to do so and may use this letter for that purpose.
Edward G. Robinson
25 septembre 1953
Monsieur W. GOLDBERG
726 Somerset Place N.W.
WASHINGTON D C
J'ai bien reçu votre amaible letter. Malheureusement, je ne peux pas vous donner le renseignement que vous me demandez. Il faut, pour cela, vous addresser au collectioneur Robenson [sic] qui pourra vous indiquer si des reproductions de ce tableau ont été faites.
Veuillez recevoir, cher Monsieur, l'assurance de mes sentiments distingués.
I have received your kind letter. Unfortunately, I cannot give you the information you ask for. For this you need to contact the collector Robenson who could tell you if reproductions of the painting were made.
Please accept, dear Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.
Images of both letters via ebay.
*Click here for Robinson's statement accompanying the exhibition at the MOMA in New York in 1953 (beginning with the words "I am not a collector..."), and for a list of the 40 paintings Robinson had loaned to the museum.