Dealer Records:

Galerie Heinemann online


Galerie Heinemann online:


Press Release 29 July 2010 (for the German version, click here)


New online archive comprises over 43,000 artworks


The database Galerie Heinemann online makes the extensive documentation of the famous Munich art dealer available for research.


In the Deutsches Kunstarchiv in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, the documents of the Galerie Heinemann (1872-1939), one of the most important German art dealer's, are amongst the most often requested archival materials. These holdings, which are now completely accessible and searchable in the Internet, provide valuable information on the provenance of artworks. This database will be a central tool for provenance research - including artworks expropriated during the National Socialist period.


To facilitate the complex searches, a project was launched in 2009 in which the business records and card indexes of the Galerie Heinemann in the Deutsches Kunstarchiv were processed. They were supplemented by catalogs and photographs that are found in the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich. This important source material was digitalized, transcribed and the information linked in a database.  With the activation of the database under the results can now be accessed in the Internet with no restrictions and at no charge using the appropriate search facilities. The database makes information available on over 43,000 artworks from all centuries that were offered to the gallery, which it traded or took on consignment. Approximately 13,000 museums, art collectors, dealers and private persons can be found in the database.


These documents include the gallery's business records (6,860 pages) as well as the complex card catalog system subdivided into eight categories (35,300 index cards). The index cards and business records contain detailed information and allow a precise identification of artworks, artists, sales dates as well as persons or institutions associated with the acquisition or sales. The catalogs and photographs stored in the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich were also digitized and integrated into the database. Altogether the documents cover a time period starting with the founding of the gallery in 1872 up to the point of the "Aryanization" of the Jewish firm at the end of 1939.


2: The History of the Galerie Heinemann

Founding and Importance

The Galerie Heinemann was founded in Munich in 1872 by David Heinemann (1819-1902) and was numbered amongst the most important art dealerships in Germany until its "Aryanization" in 1939. Originally its rooms were located at Promenadeplatz, later they were moved to the Prinzregentenstraße and as of 1902 to Lenbachplatz 5/6. The gallery, which operates internationally, had several branch offices in cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Nice and New York. It specialized in 19th and early 20th century German art, but also dedicated itself to English, French and Spanish art. Altogether it organized approximately 300 solo and thematic group exhibitions between 1880 and 1935.


The heyday of the gallery – 1890 to 1939

In 1890 the three sons of the art dealer David Heinemann took over the gallery. Theobald and Hermann headed the Munich business; Theodor, the oldest brother, was in charge of the New York office. After the death of the two younger brothers (1919 and 1929, resp.) Theobald Heinemann's widow, Franziska Heinemann (1882-1940), managed the gallery with her son Fritz (1905-1983) until it was "aryanized" at the end of 1939. Fritz Heinemann had already left the parents' art dealership in January of 1938. In May 1938 he emigrated via Switzerland to the USA. His mother followed him to the USA in February 1939, where she died in November 1940.


Under the direction of Friedrich Heinrich Zinckgraf as of 1939

In September 1938 Friedrich Heinrich Zinckgraf (1878-1954), a senior employee of the gallery, took over Fritz Heinemann's share in the gallery. After the pogrom on November 9/10, 1938, Franziska Heinemann's share was also "aryanized" by Zinckgraf. The Aryanization negotiations, however, took a good year at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Munich, because Zinckgraf was accused of "fictitious Aryanization" owing to his close contact to the Heinemann family. To finance the business, Zinckgraf finally received a loan from Reich Minister Hjalmar Schacht.

He became the sole owner of the gallery with all its documents by the end of 1939. The business was valued at 220,000 Reichsmark, the stock at 200,000 Reichsmark. Zinckgraf changed the name of the Galerie Heinemann to Galerie Zinckgraf in May 1941 and continued to manage it in unmodified form even after the war (his licence was renewed in September 1946). He even retained the numbering system of the Galerie Heinemann.


What happened to the gallery documents after the end of the war?

In June 1946 Fritz Heinemann returned to Munich. He probably did not receive the documents of the Galerie Heinemann until after Zinckgraf's death in 1954. Under the name of his wife Christel he once again became active as an art dealer from 1955 to 1957.

In 1972 he turned the business records and card indexes over to the Deutsches Kunstarchiv in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (formerly Archiv für Bildende Kunst). At the same time some of the photo cards and the catalogs were transferred to the ZI, Munich.


3: The spectrum of the Galerie Heinemann


Date of origin of the traded artworks

90 percent of the Galerie Heinemann's trade involved 19th and 20th artworks. 10 percent of the traded artworks were created between the 13th and the 18th centuries. The orientation of the gallery is even more obvious, if you consider only the over 35,000 directly traded artworks or those taken on consignment. Only 3.3 percent of these artworks were created before the 19th century.

The focus on the 19th and 20th century also becomes clear from the approximately 5,000 offers the gallery received. 13th to 18th century works accounted for 40 % of these offers, including a strikingly large number of Baroque artworks, for instance, by Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, El Greco, or Renaissance painters such as Titian and Lucas Cranach. Yet precisely these works were not accepted by the gallery. Contemporary 19th and 20th century art remained the specialty of the Galerie Heinemann.


The important artists in the gallery

Works by artists from the German-speaking areas (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) dominated, accounting for over 72 % of the traded goods as well as works on consignment. In contrast, Western and southern European artists accounted for just under 13 percent and Dutch/Flemish artists for just under 3 percent of all items.


A great number of the artworks came from representatives of the so-called Munich School associated with the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, which, particularly in the second half of the 19th century, was one of the leading German painting schools. Its representatives, such as Franz von Defregger, Eduard von Grützner, Franz von Lenbach, Hermann and Friedrich August von Kaulbach, Carl Spitzweg, Josef Wenglein, Heinrich von Zügel and Ludwig von Zumbusch were amongst the artists with the most works sold. Popular motifs included, above all, Bavarian mountain landscapes, the area around Dachau, rural animal depictions, peasant scenes and, not least, portraits. Alongside these, the gallery also traded in well-known depictions by contemporary history painters. Philipp Röth, who today is scarcely known, settled in Munich after his training in Darmstadt and Karlsruhe, and was the artist who sold the most works by far, even surpassing Wilhelm Busch and Franz von Lenbach. His Bavarian landscapes were quite obviously highly desired by the gallery's clients.

Berlin artists, as well, such as Walter Leistikow, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury found buyers through the Galerie Heinemann. The Düsseldorf Painting School was represented with numerous pictures by Andreas and Oswald Achenbach. The Austrian painters Jakob and Rudolf Alt should also be listed as important contributors to the gallery's portfolio.


Foreign artists whose paintings were traded by the gallery included the French artists François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, the Spanish artists Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez, as well as the English artists John Constable, George Romney and William Turner.


4: Source Material Explanations


The information collated in the database Galerie Heinemann online comes from various sources.


Alongside stock ledgers, purchase books and cashbooks the major holdings of the gallery also include the card catalog, consisting of eight separate card indexes.

The important identification characteristic for all artworks is the number assigned by the gallery, by which the various groups of sources can be uniquely correlated.  Traded artworks have a so-called Heinemann number (short key: H-Nr.); works taken on consignment have a so-called consignment number (short key: C-Nr.). The works purchased by the gallery were labeled on the back with their respective Heinemann number.

Basically three types of artworks can be distinguished:

1.     Type Heinemann Artwork: Traded artworks (17,582 artwork data records).

2.     Type Commission Return: Goods on consignment that were not sold and were given back later (19,471 artwork data records).

3.     Type Offer: Artworks offered, but not accepted and not traded (6,073 artwork data records).


Additional information sources are the catalogs of the Galerie Heinemann. They reflect its sales and exhibition concept and contain occasional images of the artworks. Further pictorial material is found in the few remaining photographs.


For a detailed explanation of the individual sources, see "Documents":


5: About us


Cooperation Partners

Project Leader

Dr. Birgit Jooss, Deutsches Kunstarchiv im Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg


Cooperation Partners

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich: Dr. Stephan Klingen, Dr. Rüdiger Hoyer



Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Dr. Siegfried Krause, Germanisches Nationalmuseum



Digitalization of the Documents of the Deutsches Kunstarchiv

Dr. Harald Fischer, Harald Fischer Verlag, Erlangen


Digitalization of the Documents of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich

Ulf Dingerdissen M.A., Dr. des. Johannes Griebel, Lena Hodel M.A., Lisa Kolb M.A., Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich


Work Area Database

Conceptional Assistance and Project Leader for Database Entry
Frank Drauschke, Beate Schreiber, Facts & Files, Historisches Forschungsinstitut Berlin

Development of the Work Area Database
Frank Drauschke, Christoph Herrmann, Facts & Files, Historisches Forschungsinstitut Berlin


Transcription and Database Entry

Ruth Bergmann, Jens Ole Beckers, Dr. Max Bloch, Hans-Christian Bresgott, Stefanie Ernst, Kathrin Felder, Susanne Gruschka, Dr. Jens Wietschorke, Facts & Files, Historisches Forschungsinstitut Berlin


Web Database

Graphic Design and Technical Implementation of the Internet Database

Olaf Baldini, pitoresk, Berlin


Translation into English

Karen Christenson, Frank Gillard



Core Funding

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich


Third-Party Funding

Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzrecherche/ -forschung, Berlin, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media


Duration of Project

June 2009 to June 2010


Contact: Dr. Birgit Jooss, Deutsches Kunstarchiv im Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany,

Tel: 0049 – (0)911 – 13 31 178,




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