Justin K. Thannhauser



Justin K. Thannhauser, a German art dealer, played a leading role in the development and dissemination of Modern art in Europe. His collection sketch an unprecedented history of 19th and 20th century painting. MyStudiolo traces the life of this modern spirit, a privileged witness to the birth of the avant-garde in: 6 key dates 4 artworks 3 anecdotes 1 quote

1892 Justin was the son of Heinrich Thannauser, also an art dealer. In his childhood, he helped his father in his Modern Gallery, one of the three Thannhauser Galleries located in Munich. During his studies in Berlin, Florence and Paris, Justin strengthened his friendship with artists and other important art dealers such as Kahnweiler and Uhde.

1912 He was proud of his first acquisition, Soccer Players, by Douanier Rousseau. Then he succeeds his father in the management and direction of the gallery. An unprecedented exhibition of works by Italian futurists brings him even greater notoriety. The following year, the gallery hosted the largest retrospective of Picasso's work.

1927 With the same visionary spirit as his father, Justin opened a new gallery in Berlin.The success of this branch quickly surpassed that of Munich. His greatest achievement in this gallery took place three years later, when he presented the largest exhibition of Matisse's works ever organized in Germany.

1941 He moved to New York and quickly established himself as an art dealer in the United States. He opened a private gallery there, continued to collect and helped museums organize exhibitions and acquisitions. He also welcomed many international personalities to his home, including Pablo Picasso, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Duchamp and even Jean Renoir.

1963 Justin is 71 and has no descendants - his two sons died prematurely. Without successor, he bequeathed the main works of his collection to the foundation of his friend, Solomon R. Guggenheim, who opened his first museum in New York. His works constitute one of the strong core of this important museum.

1978 After his death, his second wife, Hilde, continued to donate his works to the museum. The set of 75 paintings, a long series of masterpieces from the end of the XIXth and the beginning of the XXth century as innovative as Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Picasso and Van Gogh, is exhibited in a gallery which bears the name of their legatee.

Franz Marc,The Yellow Cow, 1911

Vincent Van Gogh, Mountain at Saint Rémy, 1889

Pablo Picasso, Woman with Yellow Hai, 1931

Vassily Kandinsky, The Blue Mountain, 1909


  • In 1937 Justin moved with his family to Paris to escape the regime of Nazi Germany. Although Modern Art was considered to be 'degenerate' according to the government, it had been allowed to take away the most important works by paying a very high fee. Despite this considerable loss, he was able to open a private gallery on rue de Miromesnil.

  • After a traveling exhibition started at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, all of Cézanne's works that belonged to the Thannauser family were brought together at the Hôtel de Caumont in 2019. For the first time, the work entitled Carrières de Bibémus returned to Aix-En-Provence where it was painted around 1894.

  • In 1913, with the help of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, he organized one of the first Picasso retrospectives in Germany. Justin wrote the preface to the catalog, initiating a relationship with Picasso that lasted until his last days. The artist had also offered Hilde and Justin the hilarious confrontation of the cat and the lobster as a wedding gift.

« I am convinced that these 75 paintings have a unity that cannot be found in any other museum.»

Justin Thannhauser

Discover the exhibition From Manet to Picasso : The Thannhauser Collection at Hôtel de Caumont

© 2020 par MyStudiolo

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