The Israel Museum returned a Nazi-looted painting to the heirs of its original owner, then repurchased the artwork.
Museums, like movie studios, prefer to open big.
The high cost of museum management, from health care to advertising, has forced institutions to reach for blockbuster exhibits -- Tutmania! -- market them like summer movies, and pray for long lines and lasting buzz on opening day.
Then there's Max Liebermann.
Skirball Cultural Center founder and director Uri Herscher was in Jerusalem several years ago, visiting a friend's small, art-filled apartment. His eye caught an attractive painting, a Liebermann, his friend said, and Herscher responded, "Who?"
Virtually unknown today, Max Liebermann was the most famous German painter of his time. He died at age 87 in 1935, just as Adolf Hitler rose to power. As he watched the Nazis march through the Brandenburg Gate celebrating the takeover of Hitler, Liebermann famously remarked, "One cannot eat as much as one would like to vomit."