Art dealer of the Avantgarde


For Alfred Flechtheim museums were important customers of works that he supplied. Public collections, as he said himself, did a ‘lot of advertising’ for the gallery and played an important role in the art market. Documentation about works in public institutions from artists he represented show that they were worth collecting, conserving and presenting. As most museums had little to no budget for new acquisitions, it was not seldom that Flechtheim donated works either himself or on behalf of another patron of the arts.

Flechtheim documented works donated to public collections in ‘Der Querschnitt’ and in texts in exhibition catalogues. It is an irony in German history that just a few weeks after Flechtheim’s death, his efforts to place works by artists he represented in museums were systematically wiped out by the ‘Degenerate Art’ campaign. Not all works by far that Alfred Flechtheim procured for German museums are now in the place for which the were acquired. In many cases, their whereabouts is not known to this day.

Private collectors
Unlike in the case of museums, sales to private customers were not generally made public. As a result, works passing into private collections cannot be traced in the majority of instances. Sometimes the names of collectors found their way into catalogues published by the gallery – although the exact titles of the works were not mentioned. It can, however, be assumed that Flechtheim successfully served this sector of the market too, even if profit margins and sales commissions can no longer be determined today. Flechtheim’s circle of customers included important art collectors such as Klaus Gebhard, Wuppertal; Erich Raemisch, Krefeld; Werner Vowinkel, Cologne; Josef Haubrich, Cologne; Hans Koch, Düsseldorf; Georg Simon Hirschland, Essen; Harry Graf Kessler, Weimar; Eduard von der Heydt, Elberfeld; Alfred Hess, Erfurt; Ismar Littmann, Breslau; Hermann Lange, Krefeld; Hugo Borst, Stuttgart; Bernhard Koehler, Berlin; Hugo Simon, Berlin; Paul Gerstenberg, Berlin; Jakob Goldschmidt, Berlin; Robert Graetz, Berlin; Ida Bienert, Dresden; Helene Kröller-Müller, Amsterdam; Max Silberberg, Breslau; Gottlieb Friedrich Reber, Lausanne and Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur.

picture gallery