Karl Steinacker

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Coat of arms of the Steinacker family

Franz Hilmar Karl Steinacker (born September 2, 1872 in Wolfenbüttel , † January 31, 1944 in Braunschweig ) was a German art historian and from 1910 to 1935 head of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum .


Franz Hilmar Karl Steinacker came from the middle-class Steinacker family, which has been documented in Quedlinburg since the beginning of the 16th century . The uninterrupted line-up begins with Hans Steinacker, who was councilor and treasurer of the city of Quedlinburg in 1530 . His grandson was Philipp Steinacker (around 1565–1613), a lawyer and Princely Saxon councilor and court judge at Coburg . Steinacker's great-grandfather was the merchant and factory owner Hieronymus Karl Steinacker (1775–1813), later estate administrator of Count Wrisberg , then mayor and city treasurer in Holzminden and ducal district secretary, his grandfather the lawyer Heinrich Friedrich Karl Steinacker (1801–1847).

Steinacker was the son of the teacher and art writer Eduard Steinacker (1839-1893) and his wife Ilse geb. from Strombeck. Steinacker's father had been a professor at the secondary school in Braunschweig since 1884 .


Steinacker attended the Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Braunschweig , where u. a. Heinrich Jasper , Alfred Dedekind and Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg were among his classmates. On Midsummer 1891 he moved to the Martino-Katharineum and passed the Abitur there in 1894.

After his military service he studied law at the University of Munich from 1895 . After four semesters, he switched to studying art history, classical archeology and German in Berlin, Munich, Strasbourg and Heidelberg. His academic teachers included the Munich archaeologist Adolf Furtwängler , the Strasbourg art historian Georg Dehio and the Heidelberg art historian Henry Thode . Steinacker wrote his dissertation under Thode on "The art of wood construction in Goslar , causes of its prosperity and decay" and was awarded a Dr. phil. PhD . This was followed by a study visit to Italy before he took up an internship at the Hamburg Museum for Art and Industry under Justus Brinckmann in April 1901 . In 1903 he became a member of the Teutonia Berlin fraternity .

Brinckmann found Steinacker a job as a research assistant in Braunschweig. There Steinacker made an inventory of the “architectural and art monuments of the Duchy of Braunschweig” under the director of the Ducal Museum , Paul Jonas Meier (1857-1946). The publication of the same name appeared between 1904 and 1922. In 1910 he was appointed as a museum inspector to the scientific director of the Vaterländisches Museum, the forerunner of today's Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum. During his directorate he expanded the collections and systematized the holdings. Steinacker saved the interior of the Hornburg synagogue, which was demolished in 1924 . Today it is the center of the BLM's Jewish Museum. In 1928 a typical Bortfeld farmhouse was rebuilt in the museum garden. Steinacker retired in 1935. In the same year, the "Vaterländisches Museum" became state sponsored and in 1938 was given the current name "Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum". After the beginning of the Second World War , Steinacker took over the provisional management of the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in 1939 due to the resulting staff shortage . There he appointed the head of the graphic collection, Hans Werner Schmidt, to be his executor.

The bachelor Steinacker died in January 1944 and bequeathed his property to the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum.


Steinacker received numerous honors such as the Knight's Cross of the Order of Philip the Magnanimous awarded by the Grand Duke of Hesse in 1911 and the Prussian Red Eagle Order awarded in 1913 . He received the title of professor in 1915. In 1942, he was honored with the Goethe Medal for Art and Science . On the occasion of his 70th birthday on September 2, 1942, he was made an honorary member of the Braunschweigisches Landesverein für Heimatschutz .

Karl-Steinacker-Strasse in Braunschweig- Gliesmarode is named after him.

Works (selection)

  • The architectural and art monuments of the Blankenburg district. ( The architectural and art monuments of the state of Braunschweig. Volume 6), Zwissler, Wolfenbüttel 1922 (reprint with the title The art monuments of the Blankenburg district together with parts of the Hohenstein district. Wenner, Osnabrück 1979, ISBN 3-87898-143-0 ).
  • The city of Braunschweig. Stuttgart, 1924 (new edition Archiv Verlag, Braunschweig 2006, DNB 97926412X ).
  • with Paul J. Meier: The art monuments of the city of Braunschweig. Appelhans, Braunschweig 1926. (Reprint Wenner, Osnabrück 1978, ISBN 3-87898-138-4 ).


Individual evidence

  1. Ducal New High School in Braunschweig: Annual report of the Ducal New High School in Braunschweig. From Easter 1891 to Easter 1892. Johann Heinrich Meyer Verlag, Braunschweig, 1892, p. 15.
  2. Braunschweigische Heimat 33, 1942, p. 45.

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