The Berman-Bloch collection of Israeli art, donated to The Magnes in 2019, comprises 48 original works (including paintings, drawings, and sculpture) by artists who were active in the formation of a Jewish-Israeli narrative in Mandatory Palestine and in Israel throughout the 20th century, including Mordecai Ardon, Nahum Gutman, Anna Ticho, and Yigal Tumarkin. The collection also includes 36 vintage posters promoting the activities of Israeli art institutions, most notably the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum, and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, between ca.
The painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882), portraying an imagined meeting among scholars Moses Mendelsohn (1729-1786), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801) in Mendelssohn's Berlin home, is one of the most prized holdings in the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Described and reproduced in articles, books and exhibition catalogs, it appears on the cover of several volumes.
Art collector and artist Sarah Samuels Stein (1870-1953), of San Francisco, married Michael Stein, the older brother of Leo Stein and Gertrude Stein, in 1894. In 1903, she moved to Paris with her husband and their son, Allan, and lived there until 1935. She collected the works of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), promoting his career and bringing his paintings to the United States. She was also, informally, Matisse's student.