Finding aid for the Alois Schardt papers and photographs

Descriptive Summary

Title: Alois Schardt papers and photographs
Date (inclusive): 1917-1983, undated (bulk 1917-1956)
Number: 910172
Creator/Collector: Schardt, Alois J. (Alois Jakob), 1889-1955
Physical Description: 6.5 Linear Feet (18 boxes)
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: This collection is comprised of photographs, negatives, lectures, transcripts, correspondences, and other ephemera documenting Alois Schardt's career as a German art historian and museum director before, during, and after World War II. After being forced from job at the National Gallery of Berlin in 1933, Schardt was censored by the Nazi party. He left for the United States in 1940 with his photographs. The bulk of this collection consists of photographs and negatives, primarily of Christian art and architecture. His photographs for publication can also be found in the collection. Also present are lectures in English, transcripts of Schardt's published and unpublished manuscripts, and personal and professional correspondence.
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Language: Collection material is in German

Biographical / Historical Note

Alois Schardt was a German art historian and museum director. He was already serving as director of the Moritzburg Museum in Halle in 1933 when he was appointed director of the National Gallery in Berlin, replacing Ludwig Justi, who was forced from his job by the Nazis. Schardt was dismissed within months, and his newly-hung galleries, like those of Justi before him, were not opened to the public. Later he was forbidden to teach at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, to speak in public, or to publish. He left for the United States in 1940, bringing some installation photographs with him.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Alois Schardt papers and photographs, 1917-1983, undated, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 910172.

Processing History

Cataloging (brief) completed January 29, 1993 by JMD.
Cataloging (full) completed August 19, 1994 by JMD.

Scope and Content of Collection

Schardt's papers document part of the Nazis' movement against Expressionist art in the 1930s. Included are approximately 30 photographs of galleries he had hung in the Kronprinzen-Palais and the Moritzburg Museum, and roughly 100 photographs of works by Expressionist artists such as Willi Baumeister, Paul Klee, and Wilhelm Lembruck. Some of these photographs, like that of Klee's Wintergarten, may be unique images of a now lost or destroyed work. The papers also contain correspondence related to his dismissal from the National Gallery Berlin, as well as manuscripts of his published and unpublished writing on many aspects of art history and art criticism. Also present is limited professional and personal correspondence up until his death in 1955, and a wide variety of photographs of Christian art and architecture (mainly German) from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.


Arranged in three series: , , .Series I. Correspondence and ephemera Series II. Writings and lectures Series III. Photographs and negatives

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Corporate Bodies

National-Galerie (Germany).
Städtisches Moritzburg-Museum.

Subjects - Topics

National socialism and art
Christian art and symbolism -- Germany.
Art museum directors -- Germany.
Expressionism (Art) -- Germany.

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographs, Original
Negatives -- 20th Century.


Schardt, Alois J. (Alois Jakob), 1889-1955
Rust, Bernhard
Barlach, Ernst, 1870-1938.
Baumeister, Willi, 1889-1955.
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956.
Gurlitt, Hildebrand.
Justi, Ludwig
Lehmbruck, Wilhelm
Marc, Maria
Nierendorf, Karl
Klee, Paul

Container List


Series I. Correspondence and ephemera, 1917-1963, 1983, undated

Physical Description: 0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Scope and Content Note

Series I. Correspondence and ephemera: approximately 60 items, including carbon copies of Schardt's outgoing correspondence, detailing his increasing difficulties with the Nazi government; and correspondence with Bernhardt Rust (Reich minister of science, education, and popular culture) and the bureaucrats in Halle, especially from 1933 to 1940. Includes four letters from Ernst Barlach (1922-1934). A few letters date from after the war and are from others involved in the controversies surrounding Expressionist art, such as the dealers Hildebrand Gurlitt and Karl Nierendorf. Also included is correspondence with Franz Marc's widow Maria; letters covering Schardt's difficulties finding employment in the Los Angeles area (1940-1956), where he had settled with his family upon emigrating; and letters regarding his involvement in the local arts community.


Arranged by topic.
box 1, folder 1

Official correspondence enumerated in inventory, 1917-1956

box 1, folder 2

Official correspondence, 1931-1936

box 1, folder 3

Official papers and translations, 1934-1946, 1956

box 1, folder 4

Professional correspondence and papers, 1934-1946, 1983

box 1, folder 5

Correspondence and announcements regarding teaching and lecturing, 1942-1955

box 1, folder 6

Correspondence regarding Friedrich Loos paintings, 1934-1960

box 1, folder 7

Personal correspondence, 1933-1952

box 1, folder 8

Ernst Barlach letters received, 1922-1934, 1963

box 1, folder 9

Brochures for Bildungsanstalt Hellerau undated

box 1, folder 10

Newspaper clippings, Entartete Kunst , 1937

box 1, folder 11

Janet Flanner's New Yorker article on Hitler's looting of art, 1947

box 1, folder 12

American Society for Aesthetics, 1948-1950

box 1, folder 13

Miscellaneous, undated


Series II. Writings and lectures, 1921-1967

Physical Description: 2.92 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Scope and Content Note

Series II, Writings and lectures: contains much of Schardt's published writing, including fourteen pieces for the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (1921); offprints of articles, manuscripts, typescripts, and preparatory material for his books Franz Marc and Das Initial. Unpublished materials include two versions of his dissertation on human proportion in Egyptian and Greek sculpture; a typescript for a book on the principal characteristics of German art (1933); a manuscript and typescript for a book on Lyonel Feininger, and an (unfinished?) manuscript and typescript for a book on German art from 1900 to 1940. Schardt also wrote approximately eighty occasional or course lectures in English on a wide variety of topics in the arts.


Arranged by topic.

Das Initial, undated

box 2, folder 5



Photographs of illustrations

box 2, folder 6


box 3



Die Kunst des Mittelalters undated

box 4, folder 1


box 4, folder 2


box 4, folder 3-4



Franz Marc materials, 1936-1967, undated

box 2, folder 2


box 2, folder 3


box 2, folder 4

Maria Marc correspondence, 1946-1955


Lyonel Feininger material, undated

box 5, folder 1


box 5, folder 2


box 5, folder 3

Proposed dissertation, 1917

box 5, folder 4

Dissertation, 1917

box 5, folder 5

Notes on humor, bibliography undated


Published Materials, 1900-1940, undated

box 7, folder 2

Articles on artists and criticism, undated

box 6, folder 5

Eingruppierung der Jazzmusik, undated

box 7, folder 1

German Art (typescript), 1900-1940

box 6, folder 1

Kunsterlebrusse, 1926

box 2, folder 1

Offprints, 1921-1934

box 6, folder 4

Project for tour for German art books 1939

box 6, folder 2-3

Wesensmerkmale der deutschen Bildenden Kunst , 1933


Lectures and photographs, 1947, undated

box 8, folder 1

"Art Under the Nazis," undated

box 8, folder 7

"Berlin," undated

box 7, folder 3-6

English lectures, 1947

box 7, folder 7

"What Is Art?" 1947

box 7, folder 8

"What Is Art?"; "Art and the Single Man," 1947

box 8, folder 2

"What Makes Art Expressive," undated

box 8, folder 3-5

Various subjects, undated

box 8, folder 6

Miscellaneous notes and transcripts, undated


Series III. Photographs and negatives, 1936-1950, undated

Physical Description: 4.17 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Scope and Content Note

Series III contains images of the galleries in the Kronprinzen-Palais of the National Gallery, the Moritzburg Museum, and of individual Expressionist works already described. Includes approximately 1,500 photographs of Christian art and architecture, much of it unidentified and unsorted, principally of churches and their decoration, paintings and plastic arts, and Medieval manuscripts. Also includes approximately 700 negatives matching some of the photographs.


Arranged by topic.
box 8, folder 8-9

Berlin exhibition installation photographs, undated


Photographs--General 1936, 1950, undated

box 9, folder 5

Christian art: cathedrals, basilicas (exterior and interior), undated

box 9, folder 7

Christian art: mignonettes, undated

box 9, folder 6

Christian art: paintings, frescoes, undated

box 9, folder 2

Expressionist art, 20th century (not Berlin or Halle), undated

box 9, folder 4

Franz Marc Ausstellung, 1936 August 19

box 9, folder 8

Glass plate - G. Marcks, undated

box 9, folder 3

H. J. Kallman photographs and letter, 1950

box 9, folder 1

Moritzburg Museum, Halle, undated

box 13

Painting, drawings, etchings, architecture, sculpture, and illuminated manuscript pages, undated

box 18, folder 2

Negatives, undated


Photographs of architecture undated

box 11, folder 1

Architecture, 12th - 16th century

box 11, folder 2

Architecture, architectural elements (exterior and interior), 12th - 16th century

box 10, folder 1

Architecture, cathedrals, basilicas, schloß, rathaus (exterior and interior), 12th - 16th century


Photographs of cathedrals undated

box 12, folder 1

Cathedral interiors

box 12, folder 2

Cathedral interior, decorative objects, paintings, sculpture


Christian art undated

box 14

Paintings, sculpture

box 15

Paintings, frescoes

box 17, folder 1

Paintings, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries

box 17, folder 2

Sculpture, carved objects

box 16, folder 1

Sculpture, decorative objects

box 18, folder 1