TIAMSA Member News: ANN: Conversation on Hugo Helbing with Lea Rosh and Johannes Nathan (German Lost Art Foundation / Liebermann-Villa; recording now online; in German)

Hugo Hel­bing (1863-1938) was one of the lead­ing art deal­ers and auc­tion­eers in Eu­rope until c. 1933. He also owned a sig­nif­i­cant art col­lec­tion. Apart from his main busi­ness in Mu­nich, Hel­bing main­tained a branch in Frank­furt am Main and an of­fice in Berlin where he worked close­ly with the Paul Cas­sir­er gallery. His auc­tions were con­sid­ered so­cial events and he was high­ly dec­o­rat­ed for his donations to the Bavar­i­an State Col­lec­tions. Beginning in 1933 he was systematically squeezed out of business due to his Jewish descent.

On the night of the pogrom, Hel­bing was at­tacked in his apart­ment and so bad­ly mal­treat­ed that he suc­cumbed to his in­juries on 30 Novem­ber 1938. Two days lat­er, the forced liq­ui­da­tion of his art busi­ness be­gan, and the col­lec­tion was seized from his heirs. In a project fund­ed by the German Lost Art Foun­da­tion and conducted in co­op­er­a­tion with Prof. Meike Hopp (In­sti­tute for Art His­to­ry and His­tor­i­cal Ur­ban Stud­ies at the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin), the col­lec­tion is cur­rent­ly be­ing re­con­struct­ed as far as pos­si­ble and the where­abouts of the art­works clar­i­fied.

Dr. Jo­hannes Nathan, a descendant of one of Hugo Helbing’s sisters, is an art his­to­ri­an and art deal­er in Pots­dam and Zurich, TIAMSA Co-Chair and chair­man of the Max Lieber­mann So­ci­ety Berlin e.V. 
Lea Rosh has won many awards as au­thor and pub­li­cist. She was a driving force behind the erection of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the center of Berlin.

This final of the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion’s three-part se­ries of dis­cus­sions with de­scen­dants of Jew­ish art col­lec­tors took place on 1 September with Lea Rosh and Johannes Nathan.
To watch the recording, click here.

Caption: Hugo Helbing (1863-1938), one of Europe’s leading auctioneers between c. 1900 and 1933