Kolb, Leon

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KOLB, LEON (1890–1977), physician, art collector, and bibliophile. Kolb was born in Czernowitz, Austria. A physician by profession, he was awarded the Iron Cross and the Order of Franz Josef i during World War i, and after settling in the United States was appointed associate clinical professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at Stanford University Medical School in 1954.

Kolb began to collect rare books and art in 1908 in Vienna, specializing in graphics. He immigrated to Palestine in 1935 and moved to the U.S. in 1937, settling in San Francisco. After his retirement he devoted himself entirely to art. He presented parts of his large collection to various American and Israeli institutions. The majority of the rare books, Bibles, and art objects were given to the Hebrew University; the music collection to the Haifa Music Museum; and other gifts to Stanford and Brandeis universities and to local institutions in California.

Kolb established a Jewish Museum at Temple Emanuel in San Francisco in 1957 and gave his Jewish library, with Israeli art and archaeological artifacts from Israel, to the Kolb Library in Congregation Rodef Shalom of San Rafael, California.

Among his published works are the novel Moses, The Near Easterner (1956), The Vienna Jewish Museum, and The Sabbath Princess. He also edited The Woodcuts of Jacob Steinhardt (1959).

His main literary and historical interest, however, was in *Berenice, on whom he published a trilogy of novels: Berenice,Princess of Judea (1959), Mission to Claudius (1963), and The Sage, Father of Generations to Come (1965).

He married Chanah, the daughter of Max *Grunwald and granddaughter of Samuel Joseph Bloch.