Daria Khristova nee Chernenko
L'Ecole de Paris / Abraham Mintchine (Ukrainian/Russian, 1898-1931) Interior of a studio (Siesta)
Sold for £9,562.50 inc. premium
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Purchased from Crane Kalman Gallery, London, by B. I. Harris Esq. on May 1960 (according to the label on verso)
Acquired from the above by Jacques Spreiregen (1894 - 1982)
Thence by descent
Worthing Art Gallery, Sussex, Impressionism to Surrealism, no. 2, 1970 (according to the label on verso)
Jacques (Jakob Henryk) Spreiregen was born in 1894 in Warsaw into a Jewish family. To escape the Tsarist regime in Poland, in 1910, the family emigrated to France, where he changed his name to Jacques Henry Sergene. During the First World War, a young Spreiregen moved to England and began working as a headwear manufacturer and importer of basque berets.
Having joined the British Army, he was sent back to France to serve in the Medical Corps before returning to England after the war. In 1938, the Kangol brand was born and owing to the exceptional popularity of its berets, soon became the official supplier of the British Army during the Second World War.
As a philanthropist and collector, Spreiregen is known to have built an extraordinary collection of 20th century art led by European avant-garde masters such as Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Mark Chagall, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Gontcharova. Maintaining close ties with France, he was avid in his support of the community of Jewish artists in Paris, which included Chaïm Soutine, Pinchus Krémègne, Abraham Mintchine and Maurice Blond, and acquired the majority of his collection directly from the artists' studios. This remarkable collection was exhibited several times during Spreiregen's lifetime: in January 1960, at the Rouen Museum of Fine Arts, at the Katia Granoff Gallery in Paris (May – June 1963) and at the Brook Street Gallery in London in December 1963.