Feldmann, Arthur

Arthur Feldmann


9 February 1877 Wischau / Vyškov, Moravia – 16 March 1941 Brünn / Brno

The Brno lawyer Arthur Feldmann started collecting art in the early 1920s. Otto Benesch, future director of the Albertina, assisted him considerably in compiling his collection of drawings and prints. He gave advice but also provided a professional evaluation of Feldmann's Old Master drawings of the Italian, French, German and Dutch schools. The rich collection of around 800 works was highly regarded in specialist circles in the 1930s and mentioned in numerous publications. The world economic crisis forced Feldmann to part with some of the collection. The selected works were auctioned in June 1934 by Buch- und Kunstantiquariat Gilhofer & Ranschburg in Luzern. Only a few of the lots were sold, and the remaining sheets were returned to Feldmann. The creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia by the Nazi regime in March 1939 sealed the fate of the collector, who had Jewish origins. In that same month, the Gestapo seized his villa in Brno and the entire art collection. Already in poor health, Feldmann was held in custody for a short time in early 1940. He died in 1941 of a stroke. His wife Gisela was deported to Theresienstadt ghetto in 1942 and murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. Their two sons managed to escape in 1940 to Palestine. That same year the collection was broken up and dispersed. In mid-October Heinrich Rosorius was appointed as trustee of Feldmann's assets and also acted as administrator of his estate after Feldmann's death. In 1941, Rosorius offered some 130 drawings for purchase to the Albertina but the sales were not completed. Finally, the Ministerium für Schulwesen und Volkskultur (Ministry of Schools and Popular Culture) bought the drawings and stored them as property of the Protectorate in the Moravian Museum in Brno. Some of the collection also went to the National Gallery in Prague. Others turned up in 1946 at an auction at Sotheby & Co in London, further dispersing the works in museums and private collections around the world.

Feldmann's grandson Uri Arthur Peled-Feldmann has managed in recent years to locate just over 200 drawings from his grandfather's collection and to have them restituted. They include the drawing Landschaft mit einem Felsblock dating from the second half of the sixteenth century acquired by the Albertina from the Dorotheum in 1989, whose restitution was originally rejected by the Art Restitution Advisory Board in 2005 but then recommended in 2008. Other works have been returned from the British Museum in London, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the Moravian Museum in Brno and the National Gallery in Prague.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Beschluss des Kunstrückgabebeirats, Arthur Feldmann, 14.12.2005, URL: www.provenienzforschung.gv.at/beiratsbeschluesse/Feldmann_Arthur_2005-12-14.pdf (3.12.2020).
Beschluss des Kunstrückgabebeirats, Arthur Feldmann, 3.10.2008, URL: www.provenienzforschung.gv.at/beiratsbeschluesse/Feldmann_Arthur_2008-10-03.pdf (3.12.2020).

Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of four drawings now in the possession of the British Museum, 17. April 2006, URL: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/231795/1052.pdf (3.12.2020).
Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of three drawings now in the possession of the Courtauld Institute of Art, January 2007, URL: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/231370/0200.pdf (3.12.2020).

Otto Benesch, in: Versteigerungskatalog Gilhofer & Ranschburg, Handzeichungen alter Meister aus zwei Privatsammlungen, Versteigerung am 28. Juni 1934, Luzern 1934, o. S.

Julia Eßl, Die Sammlung Feldmann: Spuren – Fragmente – Dokumente. Weg einer Rekonstruktion, in: Achim Gnann/Heinz Schödl (Hg.), Spurensuche. Die Sammlung Arthur Feldmann und die Albertina (= Schriftenreihe der Kommission für Provenienzforschung, Sonderband), Wien 2015, 9–23, URL: doi.org/10.7767/9783205201571-001.

Achim Gnann/Heinz Schödl (Hg.), Spurensuche. Die Sammlung Arthur Feldmann und die Albertina (= Schriftenreihe der Kommission für Provenienzforschung, Sonderband), Wien 2015, URL: doi.org/10.7767/9783205201571.

Marie Plevová, Arthur Feldmann a osud jeho umĕlecké sbírky, in: Bulletin Moravské galerie v Brně 58/59 (2001), 344–352.


Archiv Mĕsta Brna (Stadtarchiv Brünn), fond B 1/39, Národní výbor mĕsta Brna, Kartotéka domovského práva 1850–1948, Kartothek des Heimatsrechts von Arthur Feldmann.
Archiv Mĕsta Brna, fond Z 1, Pobytová evidence občanů, Brno (1909) 1918–1953, Meldezettel der Familie Feldmann.

Archiv Národního Památkové ho Ústavu úop v Brnĕ (Bundesdenkmalamt Brünn), fond Státní památkový úřad pro Moravu a Slezsko, Prezidiální spisy, sg. V 29/4, kart. č. 38.

Bundesarchiv Koblenz, B 323/491.

Landesarchiv Berlin, B Rep. 026-06, Nr. 6337/59.

Moravský zemský archiv v Brno (Mährisches Landesarchiv Brünn), Zollfahndungszweigstelle Brünn, Devisenschutz Sonderkommando Brünn, Signatur E 1339/39.

Národní archiv Praha, Arizační spisy (Nationalarchiv Prag, Arisierungsakten), Signatur 1283 A, Karton 207.
Národní archiv Praha, Ministerstvo školství (Ministerium für Schulwesen), Karton 3294.
Národní archiv Praha, Okupační vězeňské spisy (Nationalarchiv Prag, Besatzungsgefangenenakten), Signatur 101-615/5.
Národní archiv Praha, Úřad říšského protektora v Čechách a na Moravĕ (Büro des Reichsprotektors in Böhmen und Mähren), Signatur IV, Karton 1174.

UAW, Juridische Fakultät – Nationalen, Sign. 275–276.
UAW, Juridische Fakultät – Promotionsprotokoll für das Doktorat der Rechtswissenschaften, Sign. M32.4 – 797.