Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

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Dealers, collectors and museums: The Julius Böhler art gallery in Munich, Lucerne, Berlin, and New York. Cataloguing and documentation of art bought and sold, 1903-1994

The project examines the business history of Julius Böhler’s art gallery – the Kunsthandlung Böhler – in Munich, which he established in 1880, and of its branches in Berlin, Lucerne, and New York on the basis of the photo archive documenting the works of art bought and sold between 1903 and 1994

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The project examines the business history of Julius Böhler’s art gallery – the Kunsthandlung Böhler –  in Munich, which he established in 1880, and of its branches in Berlin, Lucerne, and New York on the basis of the photo archive documenting the works of art bought and sold between 1903 and 1994. Acquired by the ZI Photothek in July 2015 with the support of the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) LIS funding program "Acquisition of Complete Collections and Literary Remains," this archive and its associated object card indexes provide visual evidence that complement with extraordinary clarity the extensive business records of the Kunsthandlung Böhler in the Bavarian Economic Archive of the Munich Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Kunsthandlung Böhler was one of the most important art dealerships in the German-speaking world. Numerous European and American museums and national galleries, as well as royal and princely houses and wealthy industrialists, were among Böhler's customers.
Because these archival materials represent such an extraordinarily rich, complete and uniquely extensive collection, their cataloguing and scholarly evaluation is one of the most urgent tasks for research into the international art trade and art market, especially in the first half of the 20th century. This special importance of the source holdings for research is indicated by the fact that since the transfer of the material and its placement in the ZI Photothek hundreds of inquiries from Germany and abroad have been submitted and answered. Concurrently, several dozen visitors have been supported in their on-site research, some of which took several days.
The urgently required backup digitization of the fragile materials of part of the archive was already completed in 2017. Thanks to the generous support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the research of the material and the expert response to inquiries are assured for three years through the establishment of a research position.
Within the framework of a Research Fellowship of the Excellence Cluster TOPOI (P2 "Dealing with Damage") on the "Networks of the German Antiquities Trade between 1914 and 1949", project manager Meike Hopp, working at the Institute of Art History and Historical Urbanism at the TU Berlin from 1 August to 31 December 2018, was able to deepen her research on the Kunsthandlung Böhler’s international activity with archaeological artifacts, focusing particularly on the 1920s and 1930s.
Finally, funding from the German Lost Art Foundation (Stiftung Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste) in Magdeburg for a further project on the transcription, cataloguing and documentation of the Böhler photo archive in a database structure was successfully applied for in autumn 2018. This project started on 1 March 2019. On 1 February 2020, Birgit Jooss succeeded Meike Hopp as director of the project.

Duration

January 2017 - February 2021

Funding

Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung

Logo_Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung

 

 

 

 

Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverlust

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Contact

boehler@zikg.eu

Team