By Christoph Wolff
Only a single yet most special item from this large and priceless collection went a different way. For a long time, it had been Scheide's wish that the original Bach portrait, which he acquired in the early 1950s, would be returned to the place where it originated. It should – as he put it – "go home" to Leipzig, the most important and final station of the composer. To that end he bequeathed the portrait to the Leipzig Bach Archive where it should be on display for the general public in the Bach Museum on St. Thomas Square, directly across from the Church where the St. Matthew Passion and other works were first performed. Scheide had become a founding member of the Bach Archive's Board of Curators when, after the fall of the Berlin wall, it was re-established as a research institute and public charitable foundation.
|Hausmann's portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach.|
The going home of the Bach portrait was properly celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic and reported by the international press, including the New York Times. On April 29, 2015 there was a small farewell ceremony at the Scheide home in Princeton in the presence of the Scheide family and the Mayor of the City of Leipzig. A small group of singers from the Monteverdi Choir under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner serenaded the portrait with some Bach chorales.
|The portrait unveiled at St. Nicolai Church. Photograph: Peter Endig/AFP/Getty Images|