EUROPEAN SCULPTURE AND WORKS OF ART FROM THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES UP TO THE 18 TH CENTURY
Since its foundation in 1880, the name Julius Böhler has stood for works of art of the highest quality, testified by its appointment as purveyor to the ‘Royal-Prussian` and `Royal Bavarian` courts. While the circle of collectors has meanwhile expanded and become international, our service with regard to quality and provenance remains unaltered. Thanks to the long family tradition, Florian Eitle-Böhler has close contact to major international museum and private collections.
Discovering the exceptional through our profound expertise is both a responsibility and a pleasure for us as art dealers and has contributed into making the gallery an international leader in its specialist fields.
Julius Böhler is the eighth child born into a craftsman’s family in the small village of Schmalenberg.
FROM MUNICH CITY CENTRE TO ACROSS THE GLOBE
The image is a much darkened depiction of Emmaus on copper. On the reverse is an inscription that identifies this picture as the first work of antique art purchased by Julius Böhler in 1880. A short time later the young art dealer opens his first shop in the centre of Munich, initially in Zweigstrasse, then in Sophienstrasse. He specialises in painting, sculpture and the decorative arts.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
Julius Böhler marries Maria Loibl in 1883. Their sons, Julius Wilhelm and Otto Alfons, are born in 1883 and 1887 respectively.
EMPEROR WILLHELM II APPOINTS JULIUS BÖHLER PURVEYOR TO THE COURT
In 1895, Emperor Wilhelm II grants the successful art dealer the title ‘Imperial Prussian Antiques Dealer to the Court’.
A TOP ADDRESS
In 1902–1904 the ‘Palais Böhler’ opens in a prime location in the centre of Munich at Briennerstrasse 25. The architect is the renowned Gabriel von Seidl.
PRINCE REGENT LUITPOLD HONOURS JULIUS BÖHLER
In 1905, Prince Regent Luitpold grants the art dealer the title ‘Royal-Bavarian Antiques Dealer to the Court’ in recognition of his services.
THE FIRST GENERATION CHANGE
In 1906, the first generation change is marked by appointing Julius Wilhelm a partner in the company. In 1907, the latter’s son, also called Julius Wilhelm, is born.
BÖHLER & EXPLORE NEW OPENINGS
Together with Fritz Steinmeyer, Julius Wilhelm Böhler founds the art business Böhler & Steinmeyer in Lucerne in 1920.
START OF NEW BUSINESS RELATIONS
Julius Wilhelm Böhler and Fritz Steinmeyer visit the USA as early as in 1913 to establish a personal contact to American collectors. In the early 1920s they meet the American circus magnate and art collector John Ringling with whom a close friendship evolves. From 1928 until 1932 the Ritz Carlton Hotel is the business address of the Boehler & Steinmeyer company in New York.
JULIUS BÖHLER KG HOLDS ITS FIRST AUCTIONS
In 1928 Julius Harry Böhler enters the company at the age of 21. In 1928 Böhler & Steinmeyer found a subsidiary in Berlin, Julius Böhler KG. After the Great Depression in 1929 business prospects in the art trade deteriorated. The company management consequently decided to expand the business portfolio to include auctions.
A THOROUGH EXAMINATION
Four successful auctions were held between 1936 and 1938; these included amongst others the sale of the estate of Margarethe Oppenheim and a selection of works from the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). Not least of all due to the controversial Oppenheim auction, but also because of business activities in general in the Nazi era, a transparent examination of the company’s history is a matter very close to Florian Eitle-Böhler’s heart. In 1995 he handed the art trading company’s stock ledgers to the Bayerisches Wirtschaftsarchiv (Bavarian Archives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce); in 2014 the company’s photo archive was given to the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.
A new beginning generates new impulses
The Palais Böhler is only slightly damaged during the war and remains the art dealer’s headquarters. In 1945, Julius Böhler starts into future.
In 1953, Dr. Gustav Julius Böhler – with whom company history is written by another new generation – opens ‘ophir’, a gallery for more contemporary art. It is also based in the company’s main building in Briennerstrasse.
FIRST GERMAN ART AND ANTIQUES FAIR
In 1956, Julius Gustav Böhler founds the ‘Deutsche Kunst- und Antiquitätenmesse’ together with Otto Bernheimer in Munich. The fair is to become one of the most important events in the art market in Germany.
MUNICH CELEBRATES ITS 800th ANNIVERSARY WITH WORKS BY OLD MASTERS
In 1958 the exhibition ‘Masterpieces of Fine Art’, held to mark the 800th anniversary of the City of Munich, attracts considerable attention. This is followed by successful presentations such as ‘Exquisite Textiles’ (1961) and ‘Old Master Drawings’ (1961 and 1967) in the years to come.
A CHANGE OF GENERATIONS
The next generation is represented by Gustl Böhler’s nephew, Florian Eitle-Böhler, who joins the Munich art dealer’s in 1991. Florian Eitle-Böhler built his career on a solid foundation. Following an apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker, he was head of the Department for European Works of Art/Sculpture at the auctioneers’ Sotheby’s in New York from 1986 to 1991.
WITH A CLEARER FOCUS ON THE WORLD MARKET
In 1993, the Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler participates at the most successful international art fair, TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) in Maastricht, for the first time.
TRANSPARENCY AND CLARITY COMPLEMENT TRADITIONAL VALUES
In 1995 Florian Eitle-Böhler assumes sole responsibility for the traditional art dealer’s in the fifth generation. The focus now lies on sculpture and works of art from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Early Baroque period. The new director also places particular value on the scholarly reappraisal of the company’s history.
COMMITTED BY TRADITION TO OUR OWN HISTORY
In 1995 the art dealer’s stock ledgers from 1880 to 1976 and correspondence from 1931 to 1967, as well as the stock ledgers and correspondence from the subsidiary in Lucerne, are handed over to the Bayerisches Wirtschaftsarchiv (Bavarian Business Archive) for research purposes.
Since 2005 the company’s exhibition rooms have been located outside Munich on Lake Starnberg. The art dealer operates worldwide with private and public collections, organises sales exhibitions in New York in cooperation with Blumka Gallery, New York, based on the motto ‘Collecting Treasures of the Past’ and participates at major international trade fairs, including TEFAF in Maastricht and New York and Munich Highlights.
The ‘Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte’ is given the gallery’s photo archive
Ca. 11.500 Aufnahmen und Karteikarten The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Central Institute for Art History) in Munich is given the company’s photo and file cards archive in 2014. Some 11,500 photos include documentation of both the title of the art works traded and precise details of their dimensions, techniques and materials, the prices achieved and paid, provenances, related literature and expertises. This has led to the identification of numerous works of art about which detailed information was lacking. The art dealer actively supports international provenance research and advocates complete transparency especially with regard to business files from 1933 up until 1945.
AT THE TEFAF IN NEW YORK
In October 2016 the Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler exhibits at the premiere of TEFAF New York Fall together with Kunstkammer Georg Laue, Munich and Blumka Gallery, New York its outstanding sculptures and objets d’art from the Middle Ages up to the Early Modern Era. The period rooms on the upper floors of the building provide a very special setting for the stand designed by Tom Postma Design.