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Raoul La Roche (1889-1965)

Raoul La Roche started in the 1930s loaning generously and even giving away some works from his collection. From 1932 onwards, the Kunsthaus Zurich was able to showcase a larger group of paintings. During the war years, which La Roche spent “under the most difficult circumstances in Lyon and later in Paris,” his house and collection were spared from losses. In 1950, the Kunstmuseum Basel received fourteen works as a long-term deposit, which resulted in the first donation of 24 works in 1952: four paintings by Picasso, nine by Bracque, five by Gris, four by Léger, and one each by Le Corbusier and Ozenfant. Two more donations followed in 1955 and 1963, so that eventually more than half of the collection, including paintings, works on paper, and four sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz, made its way to Basel.At the same time, nine significant works went to the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, partly as compensation for the permission to export the rest of the collection from France.

In 1962, Raoul La Roche, who suffered from a severe rheumatic disease, abandoned his Paris residence and returned to his hometown, where he donated the “Maison La Roche” to the Fondation Le Corbusier. In the same year, the University of Basel honored him with an honorary doctorate.

He found his final resting place in the Wolfgottesacker cemetery in Basel. has the 1963 catalog on his gift to the Kunstsammlung Basel collection now available.