The James Loeb Society celebrated its fifth anniversary on 24 April 2016. In spite of its youth the society can already look back on a dynamic period, because a number of projects have been implemented, initiated or planned since it was founded on 25 April 2011.
It was 110 years ago that James Loeb came to Murnau. The American benefactor with German-Jewish roots supported the sciences and carried out charitable works on many occasions in an unobtrusive manner. The James Loeb Society aims to continue this commitment and to keep his memory alive. In the United States Loeb is greatly respected but remains largely unknown here.
The Chairman of the Society and former Director of Hochried Clinic, Dr. Hermann Mayer, summarised the activities of the society as follows: “The Society is like an Advent calendar, in which a new door is constantly being opened up.” In addition to a book about the sheet music collection of James Loeb, which was discovered in the Municipal Library in Augsburg, the German-American dialogue is becoming more intensive as a result of an annual school project between the clinic school at Hochried and the James Loeb Primary school. From 2017 translation workshops are planned in Murnau with the Loeb Classical Library in Boston, which thanks to Loeb’s initiative includes 500 works from antiquity in English translation.
On 1 May the first holder of the James Loeb Scholarship will be carrying out a research project in cooperation with the Central Institute for Art History in Munich and the Harvard Club Munich. The first Loeb Lecture, on the Renaissance and Antiquity, is planned for October. A publication under the patronage of the former head of the Schloßmuseum Murnau, Dr. Brigitte Salmen, is almost complete. Dr. Salmen curated a comprehensive exhibition about James Loeb in the Schloßmuseum in 2000. The articles in the book will illuminate the life and work of James Loeb in an interdisciplinary manner, with a special focus on Murnau. Last but not least, the volume will also contain a contribution about the hospital donated by James Loeb, in which many citizens of Murnau were born and which now aims to provide space for creative firms which contribute to the regional economy – in the hope that many doors will thus be opened.
Walter Köglmayr, leader of the Big Band of the Staffelsee grammar school, Hubert Schwingshandl, the son-in-law of founding member Maria Rieger, Peter Kaps and Helmuth Hauck provided rhythmical swing and jazz. Dr. Mayer expressed his thanks to them all.
All the guests expressed their thanks to Christa and Dr. Hermann Mayer for their generous hospitality in Uffing. As a gesture of thanks Sigrid Panhans presented Dr. Hermann Mayer with a booklet on the history of the society which will provide the starting point for a comprehensive documentation. We had a lovely day in Uffing, with a feeling of belonging and a number of stimuli for further activities.