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Dworschak, Fritz

    Image Credit: Lexikon der Osterreichischen Provenienz Forschung

    Full Name: Dworschak, Fritz

    Other Names:

    • Friedrich Dworschak

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1890

    Date Died: 1974

    Place Born: Krems an der Donau, Niederösterreich, Austria

    Place Died: Krems an der Donau, Niederösterreich, Austria

    Home Country/ies: Austria

    Subject Area(s): medals, metal, metalwork (visual works), metalworking, and numismatics


    Numismatist, director of the medals collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; assisted in Nazi looting of art treasures. Though he had not been previously politically active, Dworschak joined the Nazi party (NSDAP) at the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria in 1938, perhaps at the instigation of Rudolf Noll, an assistant in the antiquity section of the Museum, and was appointed director of the Münzkabinet (medals collection) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1940. Hans Posse, the newly appointed supervisor of the proposed Führermuseum, set him in charge of numismatics collection of the Führermuseum. He collaborated with the Gestapo to identify collections of “enemies of the Reich,” mostly Jews, for dispersal into several museums, including his own Kunsthistorisches. The included the collections of Rudolf Gutmann, Serena Lederer, Viktor Ephrussi and David Goldmann. He became director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1941.{

    Selected Bibliography

    edited. Die Gotik in Niederösterreich, 1963


    Petropoulous and other say this happened in 1938]. Dworschak developed popular public-outreach tools, akin to the Berlin State Museums, such as the “art object of the month” and the radio program, “Ten minutes of the museum.” After Posse’s death in 1942, Dworschak oversaw the safe housing of art treasures from the Klosterneuburg Monastery to the Museum, and, in 1944 headed the securing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum objects. He was relieved of his position at the Kunsthistorisches in 1945 with the Allied capture of the city. He returned to his native Krems to head the Kulturamts (Culture Authority) and Stadtarchiv (City archives) from 1947 to 1958. In retirement, he headed the “Kunst der Donauschule” (Art of the Danube School) exhibition in St. Florian in 1965. Kühnel, Harry. “Fritz Dworschak.” Mitteilungen des Kremser Stadtarchivs 23-25, 1985; Haupt, Herbert. Das Kunsthistorische Museum: Die Geschichte des Hauses am Ring. Hundert Jahre im Spiegel historischer Ereignisse. Vienna: 1991; Petropoulous, Jonathan. The Faustian Bargan: The Art World in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 179.


    "Dworschak, Fritz." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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