Collectors and Donors of Frankfurt

The Private Museum of Frankfurt Banker Julius Heyman (1863–1925)


The Julius Heyman (1863–1925) was an important collector for the historisches museum frankfurt. What is left of his collection presents a cabinet in the new exhibition "Collectors and Donors of Frankfurt". The themes of the exhibition include both Heyman's donation of the collection to the museum in 1925 and its division and sale by the city of Frankfurt during the Nazi period.


Julius Heyman was a wealthy banker and later a collector and man of independent means. He accumulated a comprehensive collection of furniture, paintings, sculptures, faience and crafts objects in his private home. The rooms were furnished in the Gothic, Rhineland Renaissance, late Medieval and Louis XVI styles.


The collection was donated to the city in 1925 with the stipulation that his home remain unchanged and be open to the public as a museum. Contrary to the Jewish donor's wish, the city closed the museum in 1938, distributing parts of the collection among the municipal museums and offering parts of it for sale to art dealers.


The historisches museum's objects that stem from the Heyman collection is exhibited in the "Collectors' Museum" in "depot style". The mode of presentation envisioned by the collector can no longer be reconstructed after the objects were wilfully dispersed during the Nazi period.


However, the parts of the collection that have survived still show its original quality and diversity. Among the objects placed on display are a large collection of paintings including several by the mid-eighteenth-century Darmstadt court painter Johann Conrad Seekatz, as well as valuable faience work, glass objects and clocks from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.



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Julius Heyman,

Julius Heyman, "Gothic and Renaissance in My House in Palmstrasse 16" (Gothic library), photograph, undated (c) hmf, photo: H. Ziegenfusz