The merchant Martin Flersheim (1856-1935) was a member of the board of the Städelscher Museums-Verein from the society's foundation in 1899 until his death, as well as a member of many other cultural institutions. The Flersheim family owned - in the words of the prominent house guest Harry Graf Kessler - an "extensive, fairly colourful collection of pictures". In 1900 Martin Flersheim made his first donation to the Städelscher Museums-Verein, which had been in existence for just one year: Carl Spitzweg's 'The Hermit in front of His Retreat'. It was the first painting to be included in the museum's collection by the popular but subtle painter. Shortly afterwards, Flersheim bequeathed another work to the Städel: Otto Scholderer's 'Violinist by the Window'.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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