Denver theater patriarch Henry Lowenstein -- a painter and set designer in his own right, as well as a foundational pillar at the old Bonfils Theatre and the Denver Civic Theatre -- came into his own creative panache and arts-supporting spirit by way of his Estonian mother, Maria. As an artist and fashion designer in pre-World War II Berlin, Maria invited members of a flourishing arts and theater community into the Lowenstein home, imprinting the joy of culture on her young son before the specter of war changed everything. Henry was sent away from Germany on the Kindertransport at the age of thirteen, while Maria (a non-Jew) and her Jewish husband, Max Lowenstein, stayed behind, living in hiding and constant fear of Max's being caught. But through it all, Maria painted — sometimes using the most makeshift of materials — and in 1946, the family was able to emigrate to America, artworks in tow. Nearly seventy years later, Henry Lowenstein is sharing a retrospective and sale of his mother's works – which includes everything from landscapes to depictions of the Holocaust and the hardship of war – along with a few set-design sketches of his own.
The Remarkable Life and Artwork of Maria Lowenstein opens tonight at Niza Knoll Gallery, 915 Santa Fe Drive, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., and runs through December 21; additional works will be on view for limited hours during that time at the Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Henry Lowenstein will give a talk at the gallery at 7 p.m. on December 5, with additional receptions on the first and third Fridays in December. Visit nizaknollgallery.com or call 303-953-1789 for information.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 15. Continues through Dec. 21, 2013