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Need an account? Click here to sign up. Download Free PDF. Mannheimer: an important art collector reappraised History of ownership from From Mannheimer to Hitler; recuperation and dispersion in Dutch museums, based on archival documents. Kees Kaldenbach. A short summary of this paper. PDF Pack. People also downloaded these PDFs. People also downloaded these free PDFs. Genuine, Fake, Restored or Pastiche? Four north German bronze lions from Bordesholm by Bieke van der Mark. The Art of Law.

Three Centuries of Justice Depicted, [exh. Groeningemuseum Bruges Download Download PDF. Translate PDF. In the years following World War II, more than art objects formerly belonging to the German-born banker Fritz Mannheimer came into the possession of Dutch museums, especially the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

In this article the following is presented: First, an outline of facts concerning both the legal ownership situation and physical storage of his art objects in three main phases: initial collecting, the enforced Nazi purchase and the post-WW2 recuperation and redistribution. Second, a breakdown is presented of the Rijksmuseum Mannheimer objects into seventeen groups. Last, in order to study reception history, monetary values are listed for thirteen of the most costly objects.

Then four annexes: Annex 1: Mannheimer art objects distributed to other Dutch museums. Annex 2: Mannheimer art objects now in museums outside Holland. Annex 3: Mannheimer art objects as recuperated Jewish property. Annex 4: Mannheimer objects destroyed in the London Blitz, The object of this article is to present the first in-depth archival study of the man and his art collection.

Key biographical facts and third-party opinions about Mannheimer are also given. Legal ownership and physical storage A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Fritz Mannheimer trained as a lawyer at Heidelberg University and then embarked on a financial career in Paris, where he worked for a Russian- owned banking concern until the outbreak of World War I forced him to return home. Mannheimer was keen to obtain Dutch citizenship, initially for business reasons, but as the Nazis rose to power in Germany and the situation for German Jews became increasingly untenable, the issue acquired added urgency.

After the authorities had denied his first naturalization request in , perhaps to curry favour, he donated one painting to the Rijksmuseum in January , requesting anonymity.

He propped up the gold standard of the national Dutch bank and in return, in he received a Dutch royal honour, that of Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau. After that he became a supporter of Jewish welfare interests in Holland, again often keeping a low profile. Socially, he preferred to move in high society and high finance circles, not only in Amsterdam, but also in Paris and other major capital cities like Berlin.

Mannheimer decided to amass an art collection of international stature, modeled on the best collections he had seen in Paris the Rothschilds and Berlin where he met a number of Meissen collectors and became aware of the Lepke sale of art coming from Russian museums.

Mannheimer encountered them in Paris and the noble couple traditionally spent their annual September vacation in Castle De Haar in Haarzuilen, near Utrecht, Holland, where the castle hosts invited VIP dinner guests from the cream of Dutch families. A highly visible Amsterdam socialite, Mannheimer led an extravagant and ostentatious lifestyle, flaunting local modest rules of conduct, often smoking expensive cigars and being driven around in a chauffeured Rolls Royce limousine.

Due to his obesity and heart problems he repeatedly needed treatments during his last decade and took therapy in various medical institutions in Europe. The full text is given in this link because it is the only remaining article providing detailed, albeit enemy- inspired information.

While he was an extremely busy banker and often travelled abroad for long periods, collecting Meissen porcelain remained one of his foremost leisure passions.

A full list of his art advisors from to is unknown, but some art dealers are identified here and also in the article about Russian art objects.

Fourth, he acquired items from the Hermitage and other Russian collections, bought via the art trade, well over objects, mostly porcelain. Mannheimer bought objects through intermediaries, but he was just a minor player in that field as can be seen in this article link. From to , during the arterial bleeding of Russian art collections, the most exquisite and costly art objects went to Calouste Gulbenkian now shown in the Lisbon museum and later on the very best paintings of the Hermitage went to Andrew Mellon; these were subsequently donated to the new National Gallery of Art, Washington D.

Mannheimer lease-backed all of this art for an annual sum equal to the interest rate. That real estate was purchased and then lavishly furnished in the classic French style by interior designer Elsie de Wolfe , also known as Lady Mendl, who herself lived in Versailles. Mannheimer had an excellent eye for art and was assisted by the best art dealers. Very rarely he made a mistake; just one time he fell into the Van Meegeren trap by purchasing a faux Vermeer, Interior with female and male at a clavichord see below, annex 3.

Mannheimer agreed with Mr Katz that the painting in the Count Czernin collection was of high artistic value and one of the most beautiful in the world – and he also understood the great interest of Holland to purchase it.

He stated however, that he was still ill and because of his illness unable to act on this matter, and he also returned to Katz the initially enclosed letter from Count Czernin. One source however states that around , his capital was estimated as 20 million Pound Sterling, an unheard of amount of money. Soon, Fritz Mannheimer fell in love with Marie-Annette, and they married on 1 June with a prenuptial agreement.

At this wedding party in Vaucresson, Paul Reynaud, the French minister of Finance was present as a witness and friend. Soon, business collapsed. Mannheimer died soon after in Vaucresson, France, on 9 August , perhaps of heart failure, perhaps by suicide.

He was a grand officer of the Legion of Honor. Engelhard, jr. Thereafter she became widely known as Jane Engelhard, the philanthropist ; obviously baby Annette was adopted by Charles Engelhard. Bank, liquidating the latter and therefore becoming the full legal owner of almost all of the art objects Manheimmer had collected. After the attack on France the Nazis started collecting.

All of the art works and furniture transported to Paris and Vaucresson were traced and seized by the Nazis, the sum- total of the most coveted items being 27 paintings and 18 drawings. Her immediate future became grim. In view of selling, a neutral legal expert, E. Korthals Altes was appointed as a trustee administrator in Dutch: curator to deal with the tangled ownership of the treasures and real estate Fig.

Schmidt Degener to make inventory lists with full descriptions in order to determine the value of each object. Hudig, who carried out the work with the assistance of Miss J. Schoonenberg, and many Rijksmuseum staff curators from late to April The expensive art objects stored by the Chenue firm in London were also off-list. He did not dare touch the art. Goudstikker had suddenly died at night in May from a fatal fall into the hold of the freight ship on which he was fleeing the Netherlands, heading for England.

By entering into the official art dealer world, Miedl had a new business cover and could legitimately start trading in confiscated Jewish property.

Hitler had been warned by a telegram from Dr H. The treasure already packed up in the villa in by the Rijksmuseum staff was subsequently crated and moved to Nazi territory. Due to dangers from allied air raids, these crates and baskets were again moved into cellars, and in even stored in the safety of deep salt mines in Bohemia and in Altaussee.

This part was then bought by the Nazis for the relatively low price of 15 million French Francs. This bank then had to pay out all outstanding debts in Holland, as many neutral Dutch financial institutions had enormous claims. The Reichsbank could have paid off these debts and kept the art objects. In , German lawyers could have made the case that the Jewish origins of the collections were void, given the purchase history and the bank debts.

It was printed in Vienna in a large size and an extra large typeface. The latter stood his ground and threatened to seize the entire lot by force. As described, both Mannheimer and Marie-Annette had succeeded, just in time, in crating and shipping valuable paintings and drawings for storage to Chenue, the Parisian art dealer. Using U.

Other parts of the Mannheimer treasure were stored and found in the Altaussee mines in Austria and likewise recuperated. After WWII, following the Potsdam agreements, the German authorities started reparation schemes, and thus talks were opened with the Dutch authorities to repatriate seized collections. Heavy bank debts to be paid included that of the Netherlands Trading Society Nederlandsche Handels Maatschappij with a million guilder claim.

This proved to be the key legal phrase allowing post-war recuperation of nearly all works of art Fig. The missing works of art, mainly paintings and drawings, that had first been stored at Chenue in Paris and then in Vichy-France, was subsequently transported back to Paris under the terms of French law, but in the end that group was also released and transported to Holland.

She was left with relatively little, a Fragonard and a Van Mierevelt. These three sets are unspecified and its single parts not counted in this museum inventory; one full tea set bought from the Hermitage sales is currently exhibited.

Metal art and design objects including jewels and aquamaniles, 93 see below. This list starts with the most valuable, and thus considered the most important items. Below are small illustrations outside the main Figure list. Bought by Mannheimer in via an intermediary from the Hermitage Museum for French Franc 1,, In this sculpture was valued probably way Larger image: Fig. See annex 1. SK-A- Fig. Until the final moment of dividing up the Mannheimer estate, this was considered the most important painting.

It was yielded by widow Marie-Annette Mannheimer- Reiss to the Dutch State in , and was valued at f , in Rembrandt, Probable Portrait of Dr Bueno, inv. SK-A, valued by Artistic at f See also photo, Fig. Valued in at the amount of f , Anonymous, initially attributed to Donatello, Boy, right hand on chest, nude sculpture, bronze, on a green marble base, originally from the Hermitage, inv.

BK, was valued in at f , and acquired as late as It was picked up from the rubble after the Blitz bomb in London, on the night of September , see annex 4. See also Fig. Odiot, Mustard container with kneeling sculpture of a female in antique dress, silver gilt, Empire style, inv. BK, valued in at f , Odiot, Mustard container, silver gilt, with Potemkin coat of arms, inv. BKA, also valued in at f , Wenzel Jamnitzer, Merkelsche Tafelaufsatz, , inv.

BK- A, an exquisite, highly ornamented silver table-top art object with its fitted leather container. Houdon, Voltaire Seated at Age 84, bronze gilt sculpture, from the Hermitage, inv.

BK, valued in at f 45, It was stolen from the Rijksmuseum in , is still missing, and is no longer presented online. Anonymous, St. Thekla, silver bust reliquary, inv. See also Annex 2. At present, Rijksmuseum curator Baarsen stresses its key importance to the museum. Anonymous, Aquamaniles, a group of bronze water-pouring vessels for washing hands at grand mediaeval tables, including inv.

BK top and BK below. BK, weight grams Fig. Valued in as f 13, The Mary Queen of Scots provenance mentioned in some inventories fits another triptych also once owned by Mannheimer, which survived the London Blitz.

See annex 4. Antler dating from around the year , carvings added ca. BK- Valued in at just f All in all, when walking through the mediaeval and the eighteenth and nineteenth century departments of the Rijksmuseum, the extravagant spirit and exquisite taste of Dr Fritz Mannheimer is happily alive. In family members in a direct line visited the Rijksmuseum and were guided by Baarsen and Kaldenbach Fig.

With hindsight, the lawyer Everhardus Korthals Altes did a particularly good job in looking after the interests of all the Dutch parties involved and until now he has been an unsung hero in the Rijksmuseum Fig. This rich treasure trove was started from about onwards. With the help of lawyer Korthals Altes and the Rijksmuseum director the objects and their value were catalogued.

Later, ownership issues became even more complicated when Hitler bought the collection. The Dutch lawyer had sold under duress, having to give in, but succeeding in noting this duress in the sales contract. The troubled history of this collection indeed illuminates this dark era. The one and only glorious up-side of this chain of events is that the Rijksmuseum gained an immense treasure, enriching the museum and bringing it to a world class level outside the field of Dutch 17th century art.

Korthals Altes. Recognizing his works in the present day Rijksmuseum is easy. The text signs by the works of art normally show a very short provenance on the left-hand bottom.

All Mannheimer pieces however, have a provenance tag line which is much longer, two-three lines in length, and thus visible from quite a distance. Perhaps they also went through many boxes and baskets kept in The Hague in the buildings of the Ministry of Finance, which were stored there up to They certainly used the inventory made in Fig. A letter dated 18 December by committee member Dr van Gelder to the Netherlands Art Property Foundation authority SNK in charge of distribution, lists this key for the redistribution of drawings, art objects and furniture.

Another document lists and values the paintings. With hindsight another decision was made, not traceable in the archives; the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum received nearly everything. The Mauritshuis kept the following paintings: – J. Valued at f 1, Verkolje, The Messenger, also named: Times Change, at f 9, Drouais, Playing Savoyard boys, and his Richly Dresses Boys Outside, valued at f , and f 24, respectively have both been de-accessioned by the Mauritshuis.

See also annex 3. A third Dutch art museum of national importance, Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam received this group: two Faun sculptures; a Fragonard drawing showing an Open air Auction, and one Jan Steen painting, Village Wedding, valued at f , Maes of a Maid with Fish and Bucket.

One may consider that the body of the entire Dutch museum collections put together called Collectie Nederland may in the end have been optimally furthered by the concentration in one place, the Rijksmuseum. Having received this outstanding applied art collection, it gained leverage to acquire more related high quality objects.

The first Mannheimer auction had already taken place during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands; secondary quality items were then sold off. In , the remaining parts of the Mannheimer treasure not allocated to Dutch museums were also auctioned off in Amsterdam. The proceeds went to the remaining creditors from the surseance of the bank, and perhaps also to the Dutch state for taxes.

The sale was comprised of numbered items. In the furniture section the highest prize was for a set of matched furniture for f 24, One tapestry reached a high of f 6,, and one bronze lustre object fetched f 45, However, most of the prices for the sold items lay much lower, in the range of a few hundred guilders.

The museum provides a highly detailed account of provenance in the Nazi years, see note. Ursula bust is the counterpart of the Rijksmuseum silver St. Thekla bust, inv. Ursula was de-accessioned by the Rijksmuseum and purchased for f Objects in museums abroad may stem from the initial Mannheimer sales during the Nazi occupation, or the second official sales held in , for buyers worldwide. By Dutch law, any art sale to anyone in Nazi Germany, whether legal or not, was nullified in Probably the most shameful Rijksmuseum case gone wrong of all is the Isaac collection of wall tiles, entered voluntarily by the Isaac family for safekeeping during the war in an official Rijksmuseum buying-for- safe-keeping program.

The collection was however not returned to the family despite their repeated and legally sound requests in They rule on claims on an individual basis.

Results can be seen in the artworks recently returned to descendants of former Jewish owners, such as, for example, the Jacques Goudstikker heirs. The tables have slowly turned and Dutch museums now have teams of researchers sifting out ownership issues relating to the Nazi era.

In art captions in museums the former Jewish provenance, including that of Mannheimer and Goudstikker, is now often clearly indicated. Diemen; from there in to Mannheimer. Wouwerman Italian folklore: pulling Sold by the a cat tied to a rope; oil, Hermitage via an art 76 x 96 cm.

Present image is cruel in whereabouts nature. Berckheyde Market scene, drawing Transferred in NK Goupil, Paris; from as a Vermeer NK Valued at f there to 15, BKA and B. BK Fig. But the existence of two triptychs gave rise to a mix-up before WWII. According to some pre-war sources, the triptych now in Amsterdam was identified as the private travelling altar of Mary, Queen of Scots. It was initially exhibited in and , then catalogued by Otto von Falke. In it was again catalogued by Von Falke in Amsterdam with its correct size, but incorrectly as stemming from Mary Queen of Scots.

It was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in In it had been stored in a London bank safe together with 35 other Mannheimer treasures. The safe disintegrated, destroying about 35 art objects. Two similar drawings in the Boijmans museum originating from the same sale are now attributed not to Van Eijck but to a follower of Van der Weijden.

Korthals Altes mentions the fate of the three, perhaps five art objects thus found by chance in the rubble. All of these objects, except for the triptych were sold at a public auction to offset the cost of storage by the British authorities Fig.

Hanna Elkan, Photograph of Mannheimer interior, picture nr 26 in an album, given to Paul Jaffe in ; this album was later donated to the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum Print room, inv. Here, the Bueno portrait by Rembrandt, inv. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Library, inv. Photograph by the author. A group of Mannheimer objects, now exhibited in the Rijksmuseum. Foreground: snuffboxes. Background: the fold-out writing desk by A. Carlo Crivelli, Mary Magdalen, c. Anonymous goldsmith, Triptych, travelling altar, ca.

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv.

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