In college, Loeb was fortunate to room with Richard L. Feigen, whose firm has become a pre-eminent source for collectors and museums interested in acquiring the works of noted artists. Feigen influenced Loeb’s education as an art connoisseur in his own right.
Loeb began collecting Danish art when he was appointed Ambassador to Denmark. The assembled collection consists primarily of 18th, 19th and early 20th-century paintings, containing representative art from the “Danish Golden Age” (1820–1850), and including paintings by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Martinus Rørbye, Constantin Hansen, Christen Købke and Wilhelm Marstrand. Of primary importance in the collection are works from The Modern Breakthrough period (1870–1890) in Danish art, with works by the Skagen Painters including Anna Ancher, Vilhelm Hammershøi, and Peder Severin Krøyer.
In 2005, an exhibition of the Ambassador’s Danish art collection was mounted at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Benjamin Genocchio of the New York Times wrote:
If you visit one exhibition this fall, make it the ''Danish Paintings of the 19th Century From the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.'… it offers 40 works from the collection of Mr. Loeb, who lived in Denmark in the early 1980's. Examples of different styles of Danish art grace the exhibition, from Impressionism to early experiments in Modernism. The collection, by all reports, is the best of its kind outside Denmark.
ART PREVIEW; Collaborating Across Boundaries, Galleries Share Bounty” by Benjamin Genocchio. New York Times, 11 Sept 2005
The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
Danish Art Catalog
In 2005, Loeb commissioned the publication of a catalog of his collection. Full-color images of 128 paintings are accompanied by critical commentary and research on Loeb’s collection by Danish art historians Elisabeth Fabritius, Suzanne Ludvigsen and Mette Thelle, and American art historian Benedicte Hallowell. The catalog also contains detailed biographies of the 63 artists represented. It is available in its entirety online at the “Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Danish Art Collection” [link to www.loebdanishartcollection.com]website. Loeb also supported the publication of In Another Light: Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century, by Patricia G. Berman (New York: Vendome Press, 2007).
Early American Jewish Portraiture
In cooperation with the American Jewish Historical Society, Loeb funded the development of The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Database of Early American Jewish Portraits [link to www.loebjewishportraits.org] containing images of all known painted portraits of American Jews before 1865. The database includes a short biography of each subject along with artist and repository attributions. The database can be accessed through the American Jewish Historical Society.
The Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Danish Art Collectionwww.loebdanishartcollection.com
Loeb Jewish Portraits Databasewww.loebjewishportraits.org
Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough: Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
October 12, 2013 to January 18, 2014 at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America. 58 Park Avenue (at East 38th Street) New York, NY
New York Times, "Danish Art’s Subtler Sides at Scandinavia House," A.C. Lee, October 10, 2013.
Fine Art Connoisseur, "New York's Scandinavia House to Host Danish Golden Age Painting," Jeffrey Carlson.
Epoch Times, "Danish Paintings Shine Through Despite Tumultous Times," Christine Lin, October 10, 2013.
New York Social Diary, "Cocktail Reception and Black Tie Dinner in Celebration of an Exhibition," October 10, 2013
- Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich, CT, “Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.” March 19 - June 19, 2005.
- Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, “Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.” March 19 - June 19, 2005.
- Busch-Reisinger Museum, “Danish Paintings of the Nineteenth Century from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.” (Harvard University Art Museum Gallery Series No. 8) Jan. 22 - April 24, 1994.
Loans of Individual Paintings
- AROS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aros, Denmark -- Marstrand, Wilhelm. "An Englishman Pursued by Beggars in Rome." May - November 2013.
- American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York, New York – “Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America 1912." October 25, 2011—February 11, 2012.
- Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah – “Out of Obscurity: Carl Bloch.” October 21, 2010 – May 28, 2011.
- Royal Academy of Arts, London, England, “Vilhelm Hammershøi Retrospective (1864-1916).” June 24–September 7, 2008.
- National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan “Vilhelm Hammershøi Retrospective (1864-1916).” September 30, 2008 – December 7, 2008.
- The Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark, “Frederik Sodring Exhibition.” August 25, 2000 – January 2001.