Löffler, Fritz

Full Name: 
Löffler, Fritz
Date Born: 
1899
Date Died: 
1988
Place Born: 
Dresden, Germany
Place Died: 
Dresden, Germany
Home Country: 
Germany
Gender: 
male
Overview: 

Otto Dix scholar and architectural historian in East Germany. After studying in a variety of areas, Löffler obtained his Ph.D. at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich in 1928 with a dissertation on the poet Eduard von Keserling. Following his degree, Löffler joined the Staatlichen Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. He was part of the group of artists and intellectuals, the so-called "Deer Group" (Hirsche) which centered around Fritz Bienert, son of the Dresden modernist art collector Ida Bienert (1870-1965/6). Another of this group was the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivitiy) painter Otto Dix, whom Löffler met in the 1920s. Löffler organized the first exhibition of Dix's works in Dresden in 1933. After the Nazi's ascension to government Löffler found this art disparaged and he was ultimately dismissed for promoting "left-wing art." He returned the the Dresden Museum in 1948 following World War II. However, in 1950 he was again dismissed, this time by the (communist) East German government for, ironically, being too reactionary. Between 1951 and his retirement in 1968 he worked at the Institut für Denkmalpflege in East Germany. During this time he published articles and books on the somewhat safer area of Dresden architecture, and was actively involved in the restoration of the Baroque city. In 1960 he wrote a biography on Otto Dix, which he turned into a catalogue raisonnée of Dix's paintings, the first, in 1981.

Löffler’s intimate connection with his native Dresden defined much of his activity as an art historian and critic. The ironic situation he found himself between the two government ideologies--National Socialism in the period up to the end of World War II, and Soviet-style communism, meant that his progressive-style methodology was continually out of favor.

Selected Bibliography: 
[dissertation:] Das epische Schaffen Eduard v. Keyserlings. Ph. D., Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität zu München, 1928, published under the same title, Munich: Buchdruckerei der Dr. Güntzschen Stiftung, 1928; Ausstellung Dresdner Künstler: Aquarelle, Handzeichnungen, Graphik. Freiberg am Dom: Stadt- und Bergbaumuseum Freiberg am Dom, 1946; "Expressionismus in Dresden." Imprimatur (new series) 111 (1962): 235-9; Otto Dix: Graphik aus fünf Jahrzehnten. Leipzig: Insel-Verlag, 1978; Das alte Dresden: Geschichte seiner Bauten. Dresden: Sachsenverlag, 1955. Otto Dix, der Krieg: Radierungen, Zeichnungen. Albstadt: Städtische Galerie, 1977; Otto Dix: Leben und Werk. Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 1960; Bernhard Kretzschmar. Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1985; Gottlieb Traugott Bienert. Leipzig: O. Leiner, 1940s; Das Körnerhaus in Dresden. Dresden: C. Heinrich, 1936; Der Zwinger: ein denkmal des Dresdener Barock. Dresden: Sachsenverlag, 1957; Otto Dix, 1891-1969: Å’uvre der Gemälde. Recklinghausen: Bongers, 1981.
Sources: 
Metzler Kunsthistoriker Lexikon: zweihundert Porträts deutschsprachiger Autoren aus vier Jahrhunderten. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1999, pp. 244-6; Walther, Sigrid, and Moldehn, Dominique, and Boswank, Herbert, and Zadnicek, Franz. Fritz Löffler 1899-1988: ein Leben für Kunst und Denkmalpflege in Dresden. Dresden: M. Sandstein, 1999; Fritz Löffler, Freund der Künstler: die Schenkung Slava und Fritz Löffler: Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Dresden: Staatlichen Kunstsammlung Dresden, 1988; Löffler, Fritz. "Lebenslauf [of Löffler]," Das epische Schaffen Eduard v. Keyserlings. Munich: Buchdruckerei der Dr. Güntzschen Stiftung, 1928, p. 66.