|Born||24 April 1864|
|Died||16 March 1942 77)(aged|
|Relatives|| Ginette Moulin (granddaughter)|
Léone-Noëlle Meyer (granddaughter)
Théophile Bader (24 April 1864 – 16 March 1942), co-founder of Galeries Lafayette, was a French businessman and art collector whose family was persecuted during the Nazi occupation of France because of their Jewish heritage.
Théophile Bader was born to Jewish merchants Cerf Bader and Adèle Hirstel.His family were vineyard owners and sold livestock. The family name, "Bader," resulted from 1808 Napoleonic decree from which required Jews to choose a fixed surname for themselves and their children. One of his ancestors, Jacques Lévy, chose Bader. It is possible that he borrowed the name from a non-Jewish friend. After the 1870 defeat and the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Prussia, the Baders, very attached to France, moved to Belfort where Théophile continued his studies. At the age of 14 years his parents sent him to Paris to work in clothing manufacturing.
In 1893, Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened a 70 square meter haberdashery called Les Galeries.On December 21, 1895, they acquired an entire building at 1 Rue La Fayette. They incorporated the Galeries Lafayette on September 1, 1899. During this period, the Galeries had their own studios where they manufactured clothing. These studios remained open until Ready-to-wear fashion entered the market in the 1960s.
In 1909, Ernest Werheimer and Émile Orosdi, future Chanel No. 5 partners, granted a loan of 800,000 francs to Galeries Lafayette to buy a neighbouring building.Bader was the one who introduced Weheimer to Coco Chanel and in 1924 he brokered the deal that lead to Chanel selling Parfums Chanel to the Werheimer brothers, receiving 20% of the enterprise in return.
In 1912, Alphonse Kahn retired from managing operations but continued to share the role of Chairman of the Board with his cousin. Bader put in place a relief fund, a nursery, and a pension fund before the imposition of statutory funds.
From 1916 to 1926, the Galeries Lafayette expanded to locations including Nice, Lyon, Nantes, and Montpellier. During the 1920s, Théophile Bader attempted to expand into other countries but with limited success. He invested personally in multiple businesses, notably D'Orsay (in 1916) and Vionnet.He became one of the firsts to sell ready-to-wear fashions in his large store, copying the haute couture models.
Théophile Bader had two daughters, Yvonne, who married Raoul Meyer, and Paulette, who married Max Heilbronn.
During Nazi occupation of France in 1940, Les Galeries Lafayette underwent a process of "Aryanization", that is the removal of Jewish owners and their replacement by non-Jewish owners.Théophile Bader, Raoul Meyer, Max Heilbronn, the store's administrators and 129 Jewish employees were forced to resign. The property of Bader, Meyer and Heilbronn families was taken.
The Galeries Lafayette group was transfered to non-Jewish owners: the Swiss Aubert and the French industrialist Harlachol. Bader's sons-in laws Max Heilbronn and Raoul Meyer joined the anti-Nazi resistance.
Bader died on 16 March 1942.
After the victory over Nazi Germany, Bader's son in law, Max Heilbronn, founder of Monoprix, was released from Buchenwald where he had been interned.His other son-in-law, Raoul Meyer filed a claim against the art dealer Christoph Bernoulli demanding the restitution of one of the artworks seized during the Nazi occupation of France, "Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep", by Camille Pissarro, however the claim was unsuccessful
In 2012, Bader's granddaughter, Ginette Heilbronn Moulin, filed a criminal complaint against the Wildenstein art dealing family concerning a Monet that had been looted under the Nazis along with nine other paintings that had belonged to her father Max Heilbronn.
In 2014, another of Bader's granddaughters, Léone Meyer, filed a lawsuit against the Fred Jones Jr. Museum in Oklahoma demanding the restitution Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep which Bernoulli which had passed through several art dealers to end up in the USA after Bernoulli had sold it.The case has been dragging through courts in the USA and France.
Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter and founder of impressionist painting who is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially in his attempts to paint nature as he perceived it. During his long career, he was the most consistent and prolific practitioner of impressionism's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air (outdoor) landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant, exhibited in the 1874 initiated by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon.
Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.
Chanel is a French luxury fashion house that was founded by couturière Coco Chanel in 1910. It focuses on women's ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and accessories. The company is currently owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel.
The Galeries Lafayette is an upmarket French department store chain, the biggest in Europe. Its flagship store is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris but it now operates in a number of other locations in France and other countries. In 2019, Galeries Lafayette recorded earnings of over five billion euros. It is a part of the company Groupe Galeries Lafayette and has been a member of the International Association of department stores since 1960.
Musée Marmottan Monet features over three hundred Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet, including his 1872 Impression, Sunrise.
Pierre Wertheimer was a French businessman, who co-founded Chanel with Coco Chanel.
Monoprix S.A. is a major French retail chain with its headquarters in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, near Paris. The company's stores combine food retailing with fashion, beauty and home products.
The history of the Jews in Alsace is one of the oldest in Europe. It was first attested to in 1165 by Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote about a "large number of learned men" in "Astransbourg"; and it is assumed that it dates back to around the year 1000. Although Jewish life in Alsace was often disrupted by outbreaks of pogroms, at least during the Middle Ages, and reined in by harsh restrictions on business and movement, it has had a continuous existence ever since it was first recorded. At its peak, in 1870, the Jewish community of Alsace numbered 35,000 people.
The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is an art museum on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Oklahoma.
Ginette Moulin is a French businesswoman. She is the chairman and majority shareholder of Galeries Lafayette. She also owns 11,5% of Carrefour as well as a stake in Château Beauregard. As of 2016, Moulin and her family were worth an estimated €3 billion.
Léone-Noëlle Meyer is a French heiress, pediatrician, businesswoman and philanthropist. The adoptive granddaughter of the founder of the Galeries Lafayette, she served as its chairman from 1998 to 2005. She was a pediatrician for 45 years. She has made humanitarian trips to South America, Africa and Asia, and she has supported Jewish causes and the Paris Opera. She was awarded the 2007 Medal of the Great Donor by the French Ministry of Culture for her philanthropy.
Simon Bauer (1862–1947) was a Jewish businessman in France and a collector of Impressionist art. His collection was stolen by the Vichy government in October 1943. While some works have been recovered, most are still missing. The Simon Bauer collection included 93 works from the Impressionist movement. Since the liberation of France, some of the canvases have reappeared at auctions or exhibitions in museums.
Carl Christoph Friedrich Bernoulli was a Swiss art dealer and interior designer from the Bernoulli family of scholars.
Helga Kreuter-Eggemann, née Helga Eggemann, was a German art historian involved in looting art in France during the Nazi occupation.
Shepherdess Bringing in the Sheep is a painting by Camille Pissarro from 1886.
Raoul Salomon Meyer, born on 30 June 1892 in Villefranche-sur-Saône and died on 14 June 1970 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, was a French businessman and anti-Nazi resistance fighter who directed the Galeries Lafayette group.
Alphonse Kahn was a French businessman.
Max Heilbronn dit Harrel, alias Hennequin, born in Paris on December 17, 1902 and died in Paris XVI on May 12, 1998, was a leader of the French Resistance and the creator of Monoprix single-price stores.
By 1952, the Meyers had chased down Shepherdess—it was in Switzerland. They sued its owner, but the court ruled against them because they couldn't prove he had known the work was stolen when he acquired it. The dealer, who had a reputation for handling stolen art, offered to sell it to the Meyers, but they refused to buy something they already owned.