Lothar Pretzell

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lothar Pretzell (born February 13, 1909 in Dübzow ( Pomerania ); † July 4, 1993 in Berlin ) was a German art historian and folklorist , from 1942 to 1945 director of the Museum Carolino-Augusteum in Salzburg and from 1959 to 1974 head of the museum for German folklore in Berlin.


Origin and education

Lothar Richard Pretzell was born as the son of the manor owner and agricultural clerk Richard Franz Pretzell (1869–1918) and his wife Martha, b. Bechmann (1880–1927), born in the Pomeranian district of Regenwalde . From 1920 he attended the Arndt-Gymnasium Dahlem in Berlin. From 1929 to 1933 he studied art history , classical archeology as well as German and Romance philology at the universities of Munich, Cologne, Vienna and Paris. He wrote his doctoral thesis in 1933 with Wilhelm Pinder in Munich on "Salzburg Baroque Sculpture"; he completed his studies in 1935. Through his dissertation topic and his studies in the Salzburger Land, he came into closer contact with Salzburg.

He joined the SA in 1933 and the NSDAP in 1937 , and he is also a member of the NSV , the RLB and the RKB .


He found his first job in 1934 in the Kupferstichkabinett of the State Museums in Berlin , where he worked as a volunteer in the reorganization of German Baroque drawings. In the following years he helped prepare the opening exhibition in the State Museum of Folklore. He spent more years recording the art monuments in the Soltau district . His name also appears in connection with the confiscation of Jewish property, where he was considered an expert in the exploitation of Jewish jewelry and works of art. In mid-1941 he was appointed deputy to the sick museum director Max Silber at the Carolino-Augusteum Museum in Salzburg. The exhibition “Heimatliches Kulturerbe” (1942) organized by him together with Max Silber was contested with acquisitions from the so-called “Führer donation” and “loans” from the church. After Max Silber's death, he was appointed director of the Salzburg Museum on September 1, 1942. During his time, the systematic inventory (with photographic documentation) and the creation of catalogs for the museum were promoted; He also advanced the modernization of the museum's internal processes. During his time exhibition catalogs on “Heimatliches Kulturerbe”, “Meisterwerke Salzburger Kunst” and “Fischer von Erlach in Salzburg” were created. In 1942 he was appointed by Gauleiter Gustav Adolf Scheel to be the representative for the Volksmuseen in Reichsgau Salzburg , and he was also admitted to the advisory board for regional studies in Salzburg. From 1942 he began the recovery of cultural objects because of the hazards caused by Allied air raids by Castle Blühnbach in the Hellbrunn and the Monatsschlössl , in the castle of Lichtenberg , in the Church and St. James Palace on Thurn , according Castle Sighartstein and after Schloss Urstein to plan and initiate. Other salvage locations were the vicarage in Faistenau , the Mayr-Melnhofsche Meierhof in Glanegg , the villa of the widow of the Kammersänger Richard Mayr in Henndorf am Wallersee , the villa of government councilor Hinterstoißner in Mattsee , the dean's court of St. Georgen an der Salzach , the villa Welz in Sankt Gilgen , the St. Peter air raid shelter, Mirabell Palace and the state mortgage institution in Salzburg. The museum's valuable coin collection was brought to the Wolf-Dietrich tunnel in Hallein in a handcart with the help of prisoners of war. (After the war, the majority of these coins, namely 2664 of 4086, disappeared. A batch of the most valuable coins could only be transferred back to Salzburg from the USA in 2017.) After the war, he was attacked as a Reich German and former NSDAP member in Salzburg. In July 1945 Pretzell handed over the museum business to his successor Rigobert Funke-Elbstadt . It was not until the 1970s that museum director Albin Rohrmoser re-established contact with him and Salzburg, which culminated in the awarding of the Golden Medal of Honor by the State of Salzburg .

After returning to Germany, he was employed in the art goods warehouse in Celle from 1947 : he worked there from 1947 until it was closed in 1958; from November 14, 1947 he was acting director, from February 13, 1948 deputy director and from October 27, 1953 director.

Between 1959 and 1974 Pretzell was director of the folklore collection in West Berlin. He rebuilt the collection on the basis of the 40 boxes with 3580 objects that had been moved from their relocation sites in Thuringia to Wiesbaden and returned to Berlin in 1959. When he retired, the museum again had an inventory of more than 20,000 objects. Initially the collection was attached to the Museum für Völkerkunde , in 1963 the Museum für Deutsche Volkskunde was founded as part of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The museum was assigned storage rooms on the former barracks area on Gardeschützenweg in Berlin-Lichterfelde . Since he did not have suitable exhibition rooms in Lichterfelde, Pretzell was only able to present his house with the two exhibitions Folk Art and Folk Crafts in 1964 and Precious Folk Goods in 1967. In them he presented his additions to the collection, most of which can be assigned to folk art.


Lothar Pretzell married Apollonia Wilhelminia Helena Maria, called Loni, née Ernst (* April 6, 1906) on September 22, 1934. She was the daughter of the painter Philipp Ernst and sister of the painter Max Ernst . She also had a doctorate in art history and studied at the universities of Bonn, Munich and Cologne. She completed her studies in 1931 with a dissertation on “Mannerist Florentine Architecture”. She then continued her studies with a trip to Paris; During this time she lived with her brother Max. After her return, she was an assistant at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Berlin from May 1932 to August 1933 and a volunteer at the copper engraving cabinet there from September 1933 to July 1934. After their marriage, she worked on joint publications with her husband. From 1949 to 1953 she was his employee at the Kunstgutlager Schloss Celle. The marriage resulted in four children (Barmin Richard Philipp, Barbara Martha Luise, Rainer Lothar, Henrike Loni). Loni Pretzell died on November 29, 1991.

Lothar Pretzell died in 1993 at the age of 84. The couple's grave is in the Melaten cemetery in Cologne .


Publications (selection)

  • Salzburg baroque sculpture. Development history of Salzburg sculpture from the beginning of the 17th to the end of the 18th century (= research on German art history, Volume 8). German Association for Art History, Berlin 1935.
  • with Hermann Deckert, Oskar Kiecker, Hans Lütgens: The art monuments of the province of Hanover. (= Volume 27 of the monument work. III. Reg.-District Lüneburg, 6th District Soltau. The art monuments of the District Soltau). Self-published by the provincial administration, Theodor Schulze bookstore, Hanover 1939.
  • Masterpieces from Salzburg art. Salzburg Culture Days of the Hitler Youth 1943 organized by the Carolino Augusteum Museum, cloister of St. Peter. Salzburg 1943.
  • Fischer von Erlach in Salzburg (= masterpieces of Salzburg art). Berlin 1944.
  • with Heinrich Brauer: German Romantics. 85 paintings from the first half of the 19th century. Exhibition in the Zonal Fine Arts Repository, Celle Castle, May to June 1949. Celle 1949.
  • with Loni Pretzell: Max Ernst. Paintings and graphics 1920–1950. Bruehl 1951.
  • Daumier and his contemporaries. French graphics from 1815 to 1875. Exhibition at Schloss Celle, September to December 1953. Celle, 1953.
  • The Kunstgutlager Schloss Celle 1945 to 1958. Celle 1959.
  • Folk arts and crafts. 75 years of the Museum of German Folklore. (With 30 black-and-white plates in the appendix). Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Berlin 1964.
  • Precious folk good: From the Museum for German Folklore Berlin. Berliner Festwoche 1967, exhibition in the museum building Berlin-Charlottenburg September 1 to October 8, 1967. Hessling, Berlin 1967.
  • with Kurt Dröge: Painted chipboard boxes. History, manufacture, meaning. Callwey Verlag, Munich 1986, ISBN 3766708120 .
  • with Thomas Grochowiak (ed.): Naive painting. 65 pictures by 27 artists from the Federal Republic of Germany (= catalog of the Institute for Foreign Relations Stuttgart). Institute for Foreign Relations, Stuttgart 1974.
  • with Loni Pretzell: Homage to Max Ernst. Ebeling Publishing, London 1971.


  • Ingolf Bauer, Edgar Harvolk, Theodor Kohlmann, Justus Kutschmann, Heidi Müller, Rotraut Sutter, Gertrud Weinhold: Lebendiges Yesterday. Acquisitions from 1959 to 1974. Festschrift for Lothar Pretzell (= writings of the Museum für Volkskunde Volume 1). Berlin 1975.
  • Theodor Kohlmann: The Museum for German Folklore from 1959 to 1974 [Vita Lothar Pretzell] , in: Museum for German Folklore Berlin (Hrsg.): Lebendiges Gestalten. Acquisitions from 1959 to 1974 (= writings of the Museum für Deutsche Volkskunde Volume 1), Berlin 1975, pp. 7-14.
  • Heidi Müller: Lothar Pretzell 1909–1993. In: Zeitschrift für Volkskunde, 1994, 90, pp. 93–95.
  • Gerhard Plasser: Lothar Richard Pretzell (1909–1993). Modernizer between “folk science” and “salvage director” . In: Anschluss, War & Rubble. Salzburg and its museum under National Socialism. Salzburg Museum, Salzburg 2018 (= annual publication of the Salzburg Museum, vol. 60), pp. 145–161.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. List of museum directors since 1834 .
  2. ↑ No receipt .
  3. ^ Rigobert Funke-Elbstadt : Ten years of reconstruction. Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum, annual journal, 1955, vol. 1, pp. 11–22.
  4. Alexandra Hylla: Lost treasures return home. The work of art of the month , November 2018, 31st year, sheet 367.
  5. Erika Karasek: From the Museum of German Folklore to the Museum of European Cultures. The checkered history of a museum between 1945 and 1999 , in: Dagmar Neuland-Kitzerow, Leonore Scholze-Irrlitz (Ed.): Actors - Praxen - Theories. The ethnographer Ute Mohrmann on her seventieth birthday , LIT Verlag, Münster 2010, pp. 38–46, here: pp. 44f.
  6. Erika Karasek: From the Museum of German Folklore to the Museum of European Cultures. The checkered history of a museum between 1945 and 1999 , in: Dagmar Neuland-Kitzerow, Leonore Scholze-Irrlitz (eds.), Actors - Practices - Theories. The ethnographer Ute Mohrmann on her seventieth birthday . LIT Verlag, Münster 2010, pp. 38–46, here: p. 45.
  7. ^ "Max Ernst - Life and Time" of January 21, 2007 .
  8. ^ Pretzell Tomb in the Find a Grave database . Retrieved October 16, 2019.

CategoryClassic: Folklorist