On Monday, 1 September 2014, the Villa Tugendhat had a special visitor, John Löw-Beer with his friend Patricia Gercik. Both came from the USA to Svitávka, where they attended the “Löw-Beer Villas Celebration” on 30 August. They were accompanied by Patricia Frick from the Museum of Lacquer Art in Münster, Germany.
John Löw-Beer is the son of Fritz Löw-Beer. Fritz Löw-Beer (1906–1976), a cousin of Grete Tugendhat, collected East Asian art starting from the end of the 1920s. Over a period of time he became one of the leading experts in this field with his collection achieving world renown. The major part of the collection is now housed in the Linden Museum in Stuttgart which organised an exhibition “In the Sign of the Dragon – on the Beauty of Chinese Varnishes” supplemented by an impressive catalogue (Patricia Frick was the co-author of that catalogue).
The collection of Fritz Löw-Beer was originally housed in the so-called Great Löw-Beer Villa in Svitávka. The author of the adaptations for ‘the house museum’ from the year 1934 was Rudolf Baumfeld (1903–1988) a Jewish architect from Vienna. In 1935 he also designed in cooperation with Norbert Schlesinger (1908–1980) an impressive villa for Fritz’s brother Ernst in the Pisárky neighbourhood of Brno, which is reminiscent of Villa Tugendhat in terms of its fluid arrangement of the living space and its exquisite details. Rudolf Baumfeld was also apparently the author of certain interior adaptations to the Brno Art Nouveau villa of Grete’s father, Alfred Löw-Beer. John Löw-Beer and his friends also visited both the Brno Löw-Beer Villas.