Heumann, Carl

Carl Heumann


19 March 1886 Cologne – 5 March 1945 Chemnitz

Carl Heumann lived from 1908 in Chemnitz, where he was a banker in Bankhaus Bayer und Heinze (from 1908 Prokurist, from 1920 co-owner of the private bank) and vice-consul of Portugal. He was known as an art collector and used two different stamps to identify his artworks: one with his initials and one in the form of a blue flower. He also added a number, usually three digits, in pencil on the back next to the collector's stamp, although this was not always legible. The Heumann collection, consisting mainly of works by eighteen- and nineteenth-century German and Austrian artists, was known to the public through several exhibitions in the early 1930s. In 1930, around 300 sheets were presented for the first time in the Städtisches Museum in Chemnitz. Three years later the Schlesisches Museum in Breslau (now Wrocław) showed over 100, and a year later the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig had an exhibition featuring over 200 drawings. Heumann also loaned items to various exhibitions in Chemnitz, Berlin and Dresden. He was a member of the Chemnitzer Kunsthütte and appointed to the advisory board in 1933 by the director Waldemar Ballersted. Heumann also collected books and was the long-standing treasurer of the Gesellschaft der Bücherfreunde zu Chemnitz. From 1937 parts of the collection were auctioned by Kunstantiquariat C. G. Boerner in Leipzig, Kunst- und Literaturantiquariat Karl & Faber in Munich and the Hamburg book and art publishers Hauswedell & Co and were acquired by German and Austrian museums in this way. When Heumann's wife Irmgard, née Buddecke, died in 1944, Waldemar Ballerstedt attempted to protect Carl Heumann from the impending deportation. Heumann died in the attempt to salvage a box from his collection from the basement of his burning house during an air raid. Most of the collection was in the safes of Privatbank Bayer und Heinze in Chemnitz and its branches in Burgstädt and Lichtenstein. In 1940, Carl Heumann, who came from a Jewish family, had transferred his collection to his "Aryan" wife Irmgard and deposited it at the bank for safekeeping. Although the bank in Chemnitz was destroyed, the drawings in the safe survived and were rescued by one of Heumann's sons. In 1957 the children, who had emigrated after the war to the USA and Switzerland, decided to auction some of the rescued artworks with Ketterer in Stuttgart. Further auctions took place in 2004 with Kornfeld in Bern and again with Ketterer in Stuttgart.

Between 1939 and 1944, items from the Heumann collection were acquired by the Albertina via Kunstantiquariat C. G. Boerner in Leipzig and Kunst- und Literaturantiquariat Karl & Faber in Munich. After several postponements, in March 2018 the Art Restitution Advisory Board did not recommend restitution because Heumann's purchases and sales were seen as a continuation of his collecting activities that took place independently of the seizure of power by the National Socialists and persecution-related connection could not be established.

Author Info
Publications about the person / institution

Beschluss des Kunstrückgabebeirats, Carl Heumann, 16.3.2018, URL: www.provenienzforschung.gv.at/beiratsbeschluesse/Heumann_Carl_2018-03-16.pdf (3.12.2020).

Erhard Göpel, Die Schicksale der Sammlung Heumann, in: Die Weltkunst 27/24 (1957), 14–15.

Thomas Heumann, Romantische Ironie. Erinnerungen an meinen Vater Carl Heumann, in: Thilo Richter (Hg.), Der Kaßberg. Ein Chemnitzer Lese- und Bilderbuch, Leipzig 1996, 184–189.

Paul F. Schmidt, Hundert Jahre deutscher Zeichenkunst. Die Sammlung Heumann in der Kunsthütte zu Chemnitz, in: Der Kunstwanderer, 30 (1930) 1./2. Maiheft, 324–327, URL: doi.org/10.11588/diglit.26238.91.



Kunst in Sachsen vor 100 Jahren, Dresden 1928.

Ausstellung 100 Jahre deutsche Zeichenkunst 1750–1850. Sammlung Konsul Heumann Chemnitz, Chemnitz 1930.

Deutsche Kunst im Zeitalter Goethes, Berlin 1932.

Deutsche Landschaftskunst 1750–1850. Zeichnungen und Aquarelle aus der Sammlung Heumann, Breslau 1933.

Bildnis und Komposition 1750–1850. Aus der Sammlung Heumann, Chemnitz, Leipzig 1934.


Politisches Archiv Berlin, Auswärtiges Amt, R 120246, Akt Carl Heumann.

Sächsisches Staatsarchiv, Staatsarchiv Leipzig, 20206 Oberfinanzpräsident Leipzig, Nr. 914.

Staatsarchiv Chemnitz, Spezialinventar Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in den Beständen des Staatsarchivs Chemnitz: Bestand 30874, Nr. 70; Bestand 30104, Nr. 5183; Bestand 33201, Nr. 134 und Bestand 30399, Nr. 176.
Stadtarchiv Chemnitz, Chemnitzer Meldewesen und Adressbücher.