Hans Vollmer (art historian)

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Hans Vollmer (born November 16, 1878 in Charlottenburg , † February 15, 1969 in Leipzig ) was a German art historian .


His father was the architect Johannes Vollmer (1845–1920), his grandfather the Hamburg marine painter and graphic artist Adolph Friedrich Vollmer (1806–1875). He was the older brother of the painter and sculptor Erwin Vollmer (1884–1973).

Hans Vollmer studied art history , history and philosophy in Berlin and Munich . In 1906 he was at Heinrich Wolfflin in Berlin with a thesis on Swabian monumental fountain from Gothic to Classicism doctorate .

Since April 1, 1907, he was employed in the editorial department of the Thieme-Becker General Artists' Lexicon at EA Seemann publishing house in Leipzig , in 1923 he took over the editorial management and became the publisher of the work. He worked as a main employee, supported by a small editorial staff, until the completion of the 37-volume work in 1950. After that he began with the additions for the 20th century, the General Lexicon of Fine Artists of the XX. Century , which appeared in six volumes from 1953 to 1962. He dictated a total of 47,229 artist biographies to his secretary Claire Möbius, who also acted as a research assistant, on the basis of notes that he excerpted especially in the Deutsche Bücherei in Leipzig, whereby 15 to 20 typewriter pages were created every day. In 1952 he was appointed professor. In recognition of his work, Hans Vollmer received the Patriotic Order of Merit of the German Democratic Republic in silver in 1957 .

On January 1, 1964, he retired after 57 years of work for the artist lexicon.


  • Swabian Monumental Fountain (= Art History Studies , Book 1). Ebering, Berlin 1906.
  • Art history dictionary (= Teubner's small specialist dictionaries 13). Teubner, Leipzig 1928.


  • Magdalena George (Ed.): Festschrift Hans Vollmer. On the occasion of his fifty years as employee and editor of Thieme-Becker . VEB EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1957 (with list of publications; digitized version ).
  • Alfred Langer: Art Literature and Reproduction. 125 years of Seemann-Verlag in the service of research and dissemination of art . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1983, pp. 124-127, 152-154 (with picture).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. s. Afterword of the publisher in the sixth volume of the General Lexicon of Fine Artists of the XX. Century . P. 503, Leipzig, August 1962.