The Collection of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild

28 January – 4 June 2023

Press Preview: Thursday, 26 January 2023, 11 am
Opening: Friday, 27 January 2023, 7 pm

Drinking vessel in the form of a hippocamp, silver gilt c. 1590-1600 © Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The collection of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild by the Museum Angewandte Kunst is the first exhibition dedicated to the private collector and patron, and his former art collection.

Its history mirrors the life of its owner who was persecuted as a Jew under National Socialism. Hence the exhibition focuses on the sale of the collection to the city of Frankfurt am Main due to Nazi persecution in 1938, the subsequent transfer of the artisanal pieces in the collection to the Museum für Kunsthandwerk (today Museum Angewandte Kunst), and the return of a large part of the collection to its rightful heirs after the Second World War.

The collection of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild is the museum’s most elaborate exhibition both in terms of development and realisation. The collection and its story are mirrored in the history of the Museum Angewandte Kunst. The latest results from the provenience research conducted at the museum provide the basis for a critical inspection of the institution’s own history. On that score, the exhibition presents and scrutinises objects that are still part of the museum’s inventory.

Select international loans from renowned museums and private collections enhance the presentation. It is also the first endeavour to establish the contemporary global connections between the exhibits to their provenance.

To underscore the process of laying the foundation stone for a path of remembrance into the future, a multimedia app (iOS / Android) was developed for the exhibition. Visitors can use virtual and auditive elements as well as augmented reality to reconstruct parts of the history of Maximilian Goldschmidt-Rothschild’s collection and to project additional information into the museum of today.

Curators: Dr. Katharina Weiler, Prof. Matthias Wagner K

The comprehensive exhibition catalog of over 700 pages is published in both German and English.

Four chapters are devoted for the first time in depth to the biography of the successful banker and generous philanthropist Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1843-1940) (Andrea C. Hansert), explore in detail the history of his famous art collection (Katharina Weiler), illuminate in detail the circumstances of its Nazi persecution-related loss or rather its appropriation by the city of Frankfurt and the Museum für Kunsthandwerk under National Socialism (Lieve Brocke), and take a critical look at the institutional history and the behavior of Frankfurt museum directors in the course of the collection’s restitution in the postwar years (Matthias Wagner K). In addition to the latest research findings on the provenance of 132 objects from the former collection, the catalog also reproduces for the first time the wealth of historical photographs of most of the approximately 1,500 objects in the collection.

The publication was published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König and is available at the museum box office for 43.20 EUR (ISBN: 978-3-7533-0418-2). It was designed by Bureau Sandra Doeller.

Press conference for "The Collection of Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild" (26.1.2023)


Natali Lina-Pitzer
Head of Press and Public Relations
Museum Angewandte Kunst

Prof. Matthias Wagner K
Director and curator of the exhibition
Museum Angewandte Kunst

Dr. Katharina Weiler
Curator of the exhibition and provenance researcher
Museum Angewandte Kunst

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