Kunsthandel der Moderne
After the First World War, galleries run by art dealers exerted a growing influence on the mediation and dissemination of modern art. Some exhibitions organised in Berlin are still legendary today, e.g. the First International DADA Fair in the Kunstsalon Otto Burchard in 1920, or the First Russian Art Exhibition in the gallery Van Diemen & Co, 1922, which showed the Russian avant-garde of Naum Gabo’s circle. Early on, Eberhard Roters recognised the importance of material about such exhibitions and concerning the documentary legacy of the modern art trade in general. In 1982 he succeeded in acquiring the estate of Ferdinand Möller’s gallery as a donation from the family. Möller, who worked as an independent gallery owner from 1917 to 1956, was secretary of the Free Secession as from 1918 and known a key supporter of Expressionism in Berlin from the 1920s onwards. The artists he represented include Alexej Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer etc. as well as the painters of the BRÜCKE movement.
Due to the far-reaching significance for art history of the material contained in this estate, since 2008 the Arbeitsstelle für Provenienzforschung (Office for Provenance Research) has been funding its scholarly evaluation, which began two years earlier. Parallel to this, the Artists’ Archives are busy collecting additional material from contemporary galleries in order to create the basis for an archive of art dealing in Berlin.
Ferdinand Möller in the gallery office,
Schöneberger Ufer 38, Berlin W35, 11th February 1928
Ferdinand Möller Archive