The Connoisseur in the Museum: Max J. Friedländer (1867-1958)

27.06.2008 to 19.10.2008


Alongside Wilhelm von Bode, it was the great art historian Max J. Friedländer who also played a decisive role in shaping the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The contribution he made, stretching over four decades (1896-1933), to the Gemäldegalerie and Kupferstichkabinett came at a time of spectacular finds and significant purchases. Critical here were both his proven connoisseurship and his contacts to the art trade and various collectors.

The experiences in all his years of service to the museum and as an art expert were reflected in numerous publications, many of which went on to become standard works in the field. After he emigrated from Berlin in 1939, Friedländer became an independent scholar in Holland, where he was held in great esteem. He died on 11 October 1958 in exile in Amsterdam. This autumn will mark the 50th anniversary of his death. Exactly 100 years ago, Friedländer became director of the Kupferstichkabinett, and in honour of this occassion the museum will be paying homage to him with a small exhibition on his life and work as well as with a series of lectures.