Arts and Culture | Local

TMA figure exhibit to showcase masterpieces

Auguste Rodin's "Adam"
Auguste Rodin’s “Adam”

The Tucson Museum of Art will host one of its most prestigious exhibitions, “The Figure Examined: Masterworks from the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation,” Oct. 18 through Feb. 22, 2015.

The exhibit will include some 120 works of art by more than 70 noted artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Diego Rivera, Mary Cassatt, Andy Warhol and Marc Chagall. Many of the pieces will be seen in America for the first time.

Along with Chagall, Jewish artists represented will include Chaim Gross, Jacques Lipshitz, Moses Soyer, Arthur Szyk, Max Weber and Ossip Zadkine.

The collection was begun by the late Elisabeth and Alexander Kasser, Hungarians who met in Budapest, where Elisabeth had studied art history.

In 1944, Alexander and Elisabeth Kasser worked with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped rescue as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi persecution. Alexander was the director of the Swedish Red Cross in Hungary and Elisabeth served as an interpreter for Wallenberg. In 1996, Alexander was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, and in 2000, the Kassers were honored with the Raoul Wallenberg Award by the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States.

In 1968 the Kassers created their family foundation. Their children, Mary Kasser Mochary and I. Michael Kasser, have continued to add to the collection. Michael Kasser, a Tucsonan since 1994, is president of Holualoa Companies and is currently a board member or trustee of the Tucson Museum of Art, University of Arizona Foundation, the College of Science at the UA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art department of scientific research visiting committee.

An opening reception will be held at the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., on Friday, Oct 17 at 7 p.m. with live music and dance performances, art-making activities and a cash bar.

Admission is $10 at the door; free for members. For more information, visit www.tucsonmu or call 624-2333, ext. 104.