Further Biographical Context for Jules Heller
Born in 1919, Jules Heller grew up during the 1930s and was influenced by the artistic culture of the time. The period of the 1930s is characterised by the conflict between a number of political ideologies, including Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government needed urgent funds to implement the rapid industrialisation demanded by the first Five Year Plan. It initiated a secret plan to sell off treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), including a primary list of two hundred and fifty unique paintings by the Old Masters, a number of which found their way to the collection of Andrew Mellon via the New York based art dealing company, Knoedler.