Stephen Hahn (art dealer)

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Stephen Hahn (February 1, 1921 – April 2, 2011) was an American art dealer and collector. An expert on Picasso, Degas, and others, he held one of the most significant collections of twentieth century masters during his years operating the Stephen Hahn Gallery in New York, NY.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Hungary, Hahn moved to Paris at the age of twelve. His father was an art dealer who specialized in the Old Masters. During World War II, Stephen lived in Santo Domingo, spending 6 years there and working as a surveyor. After the war, he returned to Paris, where he attended the École du Louvre, and studied and taught at the Sorbonne. In 1952, he moved to New York City with his wife, Nancy, an American.[2][3]


Hahn began his career as a New York art dealer buying and selling paintings from the trunk of his car.[2] An early champion of Jean Dubuffet, he eventually opened the Stephen Hahn Gallery at 75th Street and Madison Avenue.[1] [2]

A founding member of the Art Dealers Association of America, he donated art to cultural institutions worldwide. His personal collection featured pieces by such modern masters as Picasso, Cezanne, and Matisse.[2]


Hahn was a benefactor of the Music Academy of the West near Santa Barbara, CA, with Hahn Hall being named after him.[1] [2][4]

Art theft[edit]

In 1969, seven paintings were stolen from the Hahn gallery. Valued at $500,000 in total, the works included pieces by Monet and Pissarro. Ironically, while the theft was occurring, Hahn was discussing the subject of art theft with the Art Dealers Association of America.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Stephen Hahn 1921 - 2011 : Art Dealer Financed Music Academy’s Concert Hall". Santa Barbara Independent. April 19, 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Stephen Hahn Obituary". New York Times. Apr 7, 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Oral history interview with Stephan Hahn, 2008 Mar. 14". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Music Academy Unveils Hahn Hall". Santa Barbara Independent. June 26, 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Art of Irony". Time. April 13, 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2014.