Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Thannhauser, Justin, 1892-1976

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role Dealer/Gallery Collector
dates 1892-1976
city New York City
other citiesMunich, Germany; Lucerne, Switzerland; Berlin; Paris, France; Bern, Switzerland;
sex M
historical notes Justin K. Thannhauser was an art dealer active in Munich, Lucerne, Paris, Berlin, and New York. He was the son of the art dealer, Heinrich Thannhauser (1859-1935), the founder of the family’s original gallery, Moderne Galerie, in 1909, Munich.

Justin led the family gallery after World War I and expanded the business opening other galleries: with his cousin, Siegfried Rosengart (1894-1985), a branch in Lucerne (1919-1937); in Berlin (1927-1937); and after being forced to leave Germany in 1937 a location in Paris (1937-1939). The Munich gallery closed in 1928.

In 1939, Thannhauser was forced to flee the Nazis and left Paris. He went to New York and established himself as a private dealer in 1940. In October of 1963, Thannhauser arranged for 75 works of art (paintings, drawings, and sculptures) from his collection to go to the Guggenheim Museum in New York after his death. The gift included work by, among others, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque, Édouard Vuillard, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Klee, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Gauguin.

Thannhauser and his first wife, née Käthe “Kate” Levi (1894-1960, m. 1917), had had two sons: Heinz (1918-1944) and Michael (1920-1952, Paris). Thannhauser and his second wife, née Hildegard “Hilde” Breitwisch Schwaner (1919-1991), married in 1962, and moved to Bern, Switzerland, in 1971.

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updated 03/22/2024 12:09:31
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
The Museum of Modern Art
Library and Archives
Artist file: Thannhauser, Justin K.; miscellaneous uncataloged material. see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Caroline Simon correspondence with Justin K. and Hilde Thannhauser, 1974-1981. see details...
The Museum of Modern Art
Library and Archives
Collectors Records, 1929-1987 see details...
The Museum of Modern Art
Library and Archives
Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Papers, 1927-1984 see details...
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Photography Department
Guggenheim Image Archive
Guggenheim Image Archive see details...
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
Thomas M. Messer records see details...

see also:
Thannhauser Galleries