5.42 Linear Feet
Scope and Content Note
Between 1938 and 1949, Gustav Cramer's most extensive and continuous correspondence is with the German art dealers Karl Haberstock,
Hans Hartig, Hans W. Lange, and Hans Rudolph, all in Berlin. Among other art dealers with whom Cramer corresponds continuously
are Arthur Abt in Amsterdam, Emil Backhaus in Hannover, Barci Frères in Paris, Curt Bloch in Enschede, Julius Böhler in Munich,
J.H. Borghouts in Amsterdam, Alfred Brack in Amsterdam, Brandl in Berlin, Joseph Fach in Frankfurt am Main, Gerstenberger
in Chemnitz, Pierre Landry in Paris, Hermann Range in Berlin, and Paul Margolis and Wildenstein & Co. in Paris. After the
war Cramer continued to correspond extensively with Abt, Backhaus, Curt and Vitale Bloch, Haberstock, Hartig, and Rudolph.
New, and often continuous, correspondence throughout the subsequent decades begins with the art dealers Alex and Richard Ball,
Edgar Ball in Brussels, H.E. Backer in London, Delomosne & Son in London, Lucien Delplace in Brussels, W.F. Henry in Utrecht,
August Laube in Zurich, the gallery Kunstsalon Abels in Cologne, and the antiquarian book dealer Heinrich Eisemann in London.
The most extensive correspondence, continuing well into the 1960s, begins with the art dealer and collector Heinz Steinmeyer.
Among art collectors, continously and often extensively, represented are Gustav Falck in Copenhagen, Ernst Proehl in Amsterdam,
Erwin Samuel Simon in Enschede, Heinz Steinmeyer in Berlin, the architect and art collector Felix Tikotin, and Carl Emil Wessel
in Hamburg. In 1948 Cramer corresponded with the art collector Dirk Hannema, who during the war years collaborated with the
German occupiers of the Netherlands, and in 1940 was instrumental in the sale to the Nazis of part of the collection of Franz
Koenigs. There are carbon copies of letters sent by Gustav Cramer in 1944 to the Dutch art collector, but also World War II
war criminal, Pieter Nikolaas Menten.
During the war Cramer corresponded with several art historians, including Vitale Bloch, Kurt Erasmus, and Max J. Friedländer.
There is also a 1938 letter from Gustav Cramer to Lionello Venturi. After the war Cramer began corresponding with Anthony
Blunt at the Courtauld Institute of Art, John Pope Hennessy at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Leo Planiscig in Florence,
Jan Gerrit van Gelder in Utrecht, and Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub.
Among financial institutions and other firms Cramer's most extensive and continuous correspondence during and after the war
was with the Nederlandisch Clearinginstituut, the Accountskantoor Nassette & Klomp, the Departement van Handel, Nijverheid
en Scheepvaart Crisis Uitvoer Bureau, J. Schülein at the bank Gebrüder Teixeira de Mattos in Amsterdam, the N.V. Koninklijke
Meubeltransport-Maatschappoj De Gruijter, G. Cleve & Zonen Internationale Expediteurs in Rotterdam, the shipping firm Neumann
& Vettin, and the insurance agency De Voss & Zoon.
Extensive and continuous is the correspondence with the financial advisor Siegfried Reif in Berlin, A.H.M. Stibbe-Meijll,
wife of the Dutch banker Theodor Gerhard Henri Stibbe, and the lawyers Karl Hadding and W.M. Weitjens. Especially extensive
is the 1949 correspondence with Reif, which includes several lists of artwork Cramer received in commission from Hans Hartig
During and after the war Cramer corresponded with the editors of the
Burlington Magazine, and after the war with
Art News and the Art Foundation in New York, and especially extensively with
Die Weltkunst in Munich. He also began to correspond with art museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Hessisches Landesmuseum,
National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, England.
Extensive exchange took place in 1949 and 1950 with the conservator Josef Leiss at the Landesmuseum in Kassel.
The war years correspondence frequently concerns art trade with Nazi agents. In 1943 Cramer corresponded extensively with
Erhard Göpel, the German art historian and under the Nazi regime Reichskommissar für die besetzten niederländischen Gebiete,
Referat Sonderfragen, and with Walter Andreas Hofer at Stabsamt des Reichsmarschalls Herman Göring. Göpel is often mentioned
within the correspondence with the director of the Staatliche Gemäldegalerie Dresden, Hans Posse, who from 1939, was in charge
of building Adolf Hitler's art collection in Linz, Austria, the Sonderauftrag Linz. The names of Göpel, Haberstock, and Böhler
are also mentioned within the 1943 correspondence with Johann E. Westerbeek, Directeur Trust- en Administratie Mij N.V. in
Amsterdam. The exchange with the Gesandtschaftsrat Wilhelm F. Wickel concerns sales of artwork to the German government and
includes a mention of the art dealer and auctioneer Hans W. Lange in Berlin. There is also an extensive exchange with Robert
Schmidt at the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, and Albert Boeckler at the Staatliche Museen Kunstbibliothek in Berlin.
In connection with the antisemitic policies of the Nazi regime, of particular interest is Gustav Cramer's 1939 exchange with
Theodore Delville in Kassel, Bruno Dlabal in Kassel, Hilde Fisher in Chile, and Paul and Ernst Glaser in Berlin, as it includes
information regarding Gustav and Hugo Cramer's involvement in helping Jews to escape Nazi Germany. There is also a 1939 exchange
with the Finanzamt Moabit in Berlin regarding Gustav Cramer's atonement payment for Jews (Judenvermögensabgabe).
Afer the war Cramer corresponded with the Dutch organization Stichting Nederlandsch Kunstbezit, which was assigned the task
of recuperating artworks looted by the Nazis from abroad, primarily from Germany.
Beginning in 1946 Cramer corresponded continuously with Hildegard Henschel. There is also an exchange with Oskar Robert Henschel
and Reinhard Henschel, the administrator of the Henschel estate, with Wilhelm Striebig, and K.O. Gernandt, the curator of
the Oskar R. Henschel collection, about looting of the Henschel collection by the Nazis and the recovery efforts after the
In 1947 Cramer corresponded extensively with the lawyer C. Reinders Folmer in Amsterdam regarding artwork from the collection
of J. Hartog of New York and the business dealings of [?] Schoenlicht.
Of particular interest are letters to Gustav Cramer from the German author and publisher Bernhard Mehrens, who in 1949 writes
about the German society's reaction and coming to terms with the recent Nazi past and World War II atrocities.
Immediately after the war the most extensive correspondence is the personal exchange between Gustav Cramer and his wife Gertrud
Reisewitz Cramer with several members of the Cramer and the Reisewitz families, and with close friends in Germany, Italy,
United States, Brasil, and Chile, but predominantly with Gustav's brother Hugo Cramer in New York. In their letters, Gustav
and Hugo Cramer discuss current business dealings and trends in the art trade on both sides of the Atlantic. The personal
exchange with family and friends concerns mainly economic hardships. A few personal photographs are included. Also present
is extensive personal correspondence with Friede Burhenne and concerns Gustav Cramer's involvement in arranging immigration
visa and passage to Brasil for the German couple Frieda and Karl Burhenne. Continued, and often extensive, is personal correspondence
with Olga Wurzburger in New York, and with Hilgedard Henry, and Lotte Clos.
Arranged chronologically by year and within each year alphabetically by name of correspondent.