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One sunny May day in 2022—halfway around the world from Paris where the Jewish artist Ary Arkady Lochakov (1892-1941) died of malnutrition in 1941—a miraculous discovery was made. Maintenance staff came upon 48 abandoned artworks in a waterside park, all of them carefully arranged as if they were meant to be discovered. 38 of the 48 artworks all had the same signature: Ary Arkady Lochakov. Port employees researched Lochakov to discover he was a member of the famed École de Paris and was featured in Hersh Fenster’s essential book Our Martyred Artists.

San Francisco Standard journalist Julie Zigoris was the first (and only) to report the story to the public, following the trail of breadcrumbs to make some incredible discoveries.

Image above: Ary Arkady Lochakov

Julie Zigoris is an Arts & Culture Reporter for the San Francisco Standard. Before becoming a journalist, she taught English and Soviet history at the University of Pittsburgh, Stanford University, the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and Mount Tamalpais College in San Quentin Prison. She’s the author of Belomor: Criminality and Creativity in Stalin’s Gulag. Pennsylvanian by birth and Hungarian by blood, she is now devoted to all things San Francisco.

Ary Arkady Lochakov, Portrait of Jewish resistance fighter David Knout, courtesy Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris

Ary Arkady Lochakov, undated photograph

Artworks by Ary Arkady Lochakov discovered by the Port of San Francisco at Crace Cove Park,” Courtesy Arianna Cunha

This event is part of the online series “Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression.”

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