The history of the James Loeb Gesellschaft e.V.
In 2000 Dr. Brigitte Salmen devised the remarkable exhibition “James Loeb ‒ 1867 ‒ 1933. Art Collector and Patron”. This prompted an intensive study of an outstanding personality who made a lasting impression on Murnau.
Every institution, including Hochried Clinic, has developed over time and has roots. Its history is based on the people who created it. The clinic guests were increasingly fascinated by James Loeb, whose country villa had been a the heart of what later became the clinic.
Loeb’s patronage was based on philanthropy and radiates as far as the Loeb Classical Library of the Harvard University Press which is famous in the academic world to this day and which houses over 500 of the most important Greek and Latin works in English translation. The Max Planck Society for Psychiatry in Munich was originally supported by generous financing from his foundation. Large parts of his collection of antiquities continue to be housed in the State Collection of Antiquities in Munich today.
But it is in his country villa in Hochried that the personal aspects of Loeb’s life are most clearly visible. It was here that he liked to spend his time. He spent the last years of his life here and it was here that he was finally laid to rest beside his wife Marie Antonie. He also supported the market town of Murnau in a variety of ways, most generously through the financing of a district hospital, which was donated entirely by him during a difficult time.
The idea of an institution to support the clinic and the memory of James Loeb had been mooted some time previously, because hospitals today often need additional support, either financially or in non-material ways. In fact a hospital is really only established in the public awareness when the people living in the region know which services it offers and which additional tasks it fulfils in order to provide the region and beyond with services.
Since there had hitherto been no such institution for Hochried Clinic, it seemed logical to take the history of the clinic as a basis and to link it with the name of James Loeb, so that two main goals were quickly formulated:
- To keep alive the memory of the name of James Loeb and his activities, and to preserve his “estate” in Hochried and Murnau.
- To support Hochried Clinic, or – more precisely – the children, young people and families who come to the clinic for help.
These ideas were announced within the circle of friends and upon the retirement of Dr. Hermann Mayer, who had been the director of the clinic for almost 30 years. The Katholische Jugendfürsorge Augsburg, the provider of the clinic, was also involved and granted permission.
The founding of the Jamed Loeb Society
It was planned that the society should be founded in 2011, the year that Dr. Hermann Mayer left Hochried Clinic. This was carried out on 25 April 2011 (Easter Monday). The following agreed to become the founding members:
Maximilian and Agathe Weishaupt (Munich), Dr. Hermann Mayer (Director of Hochried Clinic), Maria Rieger (Murnau) (front row, from left to right)
Gaby Pfluger (Murnau), Martha Mayer (Munich), Viola Nassauer (Uffing) (back row, from left to right).
The Society’s first event was held on 22 July 2011 in the James Loeb Villa. It was the jubilee celebration marking the centenary of the James Loeb Villa. Christoph Sattler, the grandson of the builder and himself a third-generation architect, gave a lecture on the history of the building of the villa. The framework programme was a chamber concert by Duo Chougrani from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, who played music which James Loeb, a brilliant cellist, had once played in the magnificent terrace room.