Kammerer, Marcel

Marcel Kammerer

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4 November 1878 Vienna – 25 December 1959 Montreal or Quebec, Canada

also Marcell Kammerer

Marcel Kammerer studied architecture under Otto Wagner at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien (Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna) from 1898 to 1902. After study trips in Europe and Egypt, he was chief draughtsman in Wagner's studio until 1910 and was closely involved in the construction of the Kirche am Steinhof and Post Office building in Vienna. He took private lessons from 1914 with the painter Franz Rumpler and worked until 1919 with his former fellow students Emil Hoppe and Otto Schönthal as a self-employed architect. In 1920 he was awarded the title "Baurat" for his work as an architect. At the suggestion of its vice-president Leopold Blauensteiner, the general meeting of the Zentralverband bildender Künstler Österreichs (Central Association of Austrian Fine Artists) elected Kammerer to the board in 1935.

Shortly after the annexation of Austria, Kammerer became managing deputy of Leopold Blauensteiner, Generalbeauftragter für bildende Kunst (Commissioner General for Fine Arts) of the Landeskulturamt der NSDAP Österreichs (NSDAP Austria Provincial Office for Cultural Affairs), and managing director and deputy head of the Landesleitung Wien (Vienna provincial office) of the Reichskammer der bildenden Künste (Reich Chamber of Fine Arts), answerable to the Reich Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin. All planned art exhibitions were subject thereafter to approval by Blauensteiner or Kammerer. In this function they both had an important influence on artists and also on the development of the art and antiques market and their alignment with the Nazi ideology. They were instrumental in deciding on expropriations and the appointment of temporary administrators and Aryanizers. Landscape pictures by Kammerer were shown at the exhibition Art in the Ostmark, which opened in August 1938 in the Berlin Haus der Kunst. That same month, the Völkischer Beobachter described him as a "model upstanding fighter for the purity of art in the Ostmark" who from 1933 to 1938 had already performed "inestimable groundwork for the success of the Nazi art ideology". Kammerer was described in this article as a "Parteigenosse" ("Party comrade"), although his membership of the NSDAP cannot be confirmed because of the absence of relevant documentation. Kammerer's influence on Aryanizations and development on the art market can be demonstrated from a number of examples. In November 1938 he appointed the art historian Robert Grehs as authorized agent and temporary administrator of the company owned by Ignatz Pick, which was planned for liquidation. Then he supervised the sale of his stocks. Kammerer later approved the takeover of the business by two Aryanizers. The relationship between the Vermögensverkehrsstelle (VVSt) (Property Transaction Office), which was responsible for Aryanizations, and the Reich Chamber's provincial office was not without tensions. For example, Kammerer complained in the case of Galerie Harding in early 1939 that the owner was still operating and that the Reich Chamber, "as the department responsible for the art market", had not been consulted by the VVSt on the appointment of an Aryanizer.

In 1946 he renounced his qualification as an architect for health reasons and because he stated that he now only worked as a painter. A short time afterwards he emigrated to Canada, where he died in Montreal (or Quebec according to some sources) in 1959.

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Publications about the person / institution

Dr. G., Maler der Ostmark. Marcell Kammerer, in: Der Völkische Beobachter, Wiener Ausgabe, 7.8.1938, 9, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=vob&datum=19380807&seite=9 (3.12.2020).

Waldemar Hartmann, "Die Kunst der Ostmark". Feierliche Eröffnung der großen Ausstellung im Berliner "Haus der Kunst", in: Der Völkische Beobachter, Wiener Ausgabe, 28.8.1938, 9, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=vob&datum=19380828&seite=9 (3.12.2020).

N. N., Die Neuordnung bei der bildenden Kunst, in: Neues Wiener Tagblatt, 20.3.1938, 16, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=nwg&datum=19380320&seite=16 (3.12.2020).

N. N., Generalversammlung des Zentralverbandes bildender Künstler, in: Der Tag, 5.6.1935, 7, URL: anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=tag&datum=19350605&seite=7 (3.12.2020).

Ursula Prokop, Marcel Kammerer, in: Architektenlexikon Wien 1770–1945, URL: www.architektenlexikon.at/de/271.htm (3.12.2020).

Archives

OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, H. 2272, Galerie Harding.
OeStA/AdR, E-uReang, VVSt, K. u. Tr. 12.016.