Valerie Jakober Furth was a student, a survivor, an artist, and a collector. Born into a wealthy Orthodox Jewish family in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia in 1926, the Nazi occupation of her country quickly shattered her happy childhood. In 1944, while 18-year-old Furth was in art school, she and her family were interned at Auschwitz, where they suffered through the horrors of starvation and cold, the terror of death, and, worst of all, the loss of humanity imposed on them by SS officers.
Three years after her liberation in April of 1945, Furth immigrated to New York. She began to rebuild her life in the States, marrying her husband Frank in 1949, studying sculpture and painting under Louise Nevelson and Jake Berthot, showing her work at respected galleries, and building her personal art collection.
For Furth, collecting quickly became a catharsis. In abstracted landscapes and visions of color she found her solace and her stead. It was through the act of collecting art that she managed the complicated hauntings of her past and attempted some reconciliation with her present. Furth became a patron of artists, developing deep relationships with some of the men and women whose works moved her into place.
Furth passed away in 2011 and left behind an incredible legacy through the works she collected. The Valerie Furth Collection is a project to unite the various facets of her extraordinary life under one roof.