Oppenheimer, Frederic Goldstein (1881–1963)

By: Natalie Ornish

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Updated: April 24, 2019

Frederic Goldstein Oppenheimer, businessman, physician, and art collector, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on May 26, 1881, one of seven children of Louisa (Goldstein) and Daniel Oppenheimer. He attended the University of Texas and then Columbia University, where he graduated in 1902. He graduated with a medical education from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1906. Afterwards he practiced medicine in New York City and worked at Mount Sinai Hospital before returning to San Antonio in 1921. He married Lucille Joske, and they had two children. Shortly before his father-in-law, Alexander Joske, died in 1925, Dr. Oppenheimer left his medical practice to manage Joske 's Department Store, which he sold in 1929 to Hahn Department Stores. Frederic and Lucille Oppenheimer became international art collectors. For many years they had a private seven-room museum of art in an addition to their home. They had built the house in 1921, and they added the wing around 1930 or 1931. They donated numerous paintings of the Hudson River School to the San Antonio Art League and the Witte Museum and donated parts of their collection to the Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute. Their paintings are housed in a wing of the McNay Museum bearing their name. The Oppenheimer Collection includes Flemish, Impressionist, Medieval, and Renaissance paintings, as well as sculptures and room panelings. Their son Alexander and his family donated funds for a Boy Scout home and home for wayward girls. Frederic Oppenheimer died in San Antonio on October 31, 1963, and was buried in Temple Beth-El Cemetery.

Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). San Antonio Express, November 1, 1963.


  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
  • Visual Arts

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Natalie Ornish, “Oppenheimer, Frederic Goldstein,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 22, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/oppenheimer-frederic-goldstein.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995
April 24, 2019