Die Sammlungen Deutsch und Borchardt-Cohen als Deposita im Kunstmuseum Basel – zwei Fallbeispiele zur kritischen Quellenauswertung

  • Vanessa von Kolpinski (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


Between 1933 and 1945, politically ‘neutral’ Switzerland with its broad network of renowned museums was one of the most important places for the storage of works of art by emigrants fleeing from neighboring countries under Nazi rule. This article outlines the history of the art deposits at the Kunstmuseum Basel based on a critical evaluation of archival sources. The museum’s deposit book constitutes the main source on the historical deposits at the Kunstmuseum Basel. It lists more than 200 names, not only of Swiss collectors, art dealers and institutions but also of various well-known art collecting emigrants from Germany, such as Alfred and Eva Cassirer, Carl Sachs, Hugo Simon, Julius Freund and Nell Walden. Documentation from the museum’s archive also reveals the circumstances of the objects’ storage. Case studies of the Deutsch and Borchardt-Cohen collections, which were deposited at the Kunstmuseum at the same time, give an impression of research possibilities and help clarify various historical confusions. The findings gained from this analysis concern the museum’s depositary practices and might benefit future museum operations as well as relevant art historical research.

Keywords: Deposit; Switzerland; Kunstmuseum Basel; Collection Deutsch; Collection Borchardt-Cohen


Deposit, Switzerland, Kunstmuseum Basel, Collection Deutsch, Collection Borchardt-Cohen