130-Year-Old Photographs to be Returned to the Kunstbibliothek


The great grandson of photographer Ottomar Anschütz recently presented the museum with six photographs of wolves and foxes. They were part of the Kunstbibliothek’s prewar collection and had long been regarded as lost.

Prior to World War II, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Kunstbibliothek posessed over 400 works by the photographer Ottomar Anschütz. The Berlin museums had acquired the collection in 1887 from the photographer himself. The collection largely contains snapshots of animals in natural motion. It was with this type of photograph that Anschütz had become famous.

The majority of the photographs have been lost since World War II. The recently returned works were purchased by Holger Anschütz in 2014 at an online auction. Earlier this year, it emerged that they had originated from the Kunstbibliothek’s collection. The Anschütz family subsequently decided to return the photos to the museum.

Ottomar Anschütz, born in 1846, was a pioneer of early photography and died 110 years ago today, on 30 May 1907.