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Schottmüller, Frida

Date born:  August 21, 1872

Place Born:   Berlin, Germany

Date died:   June 12, 1936

Place died:   Berlin, Germany

Art historian of the Italian Renaissance and curator; developer of the "period room" concept in museology. Schottmüller entered the University of Berlin in 1899 studying art history under Heinrich Wölfflin. In 1903 she moved to the University of Zurich which granted her a Ph.D. thesis, still written under Wölfflin, a Swiss citizen. Her dissertation topic was on the Renaissance sculptor Donatello. Schottmüller accepted a position in the Italian Renaissance division at the Kaiser Friedrich-Wilhelm Museum (modern Bodemuseum). The division was emerging as one of the finest Renaissance collections under its director, Wilhelm von Bode. For Bode, Schottmüller wrote the index for his published photo collection, Denkmäler der Renaissance-Sculptur Toscanas which Bode was completing issuing in over 100 parts in 1905. She helped developed the "Period room" concept for display of Renaissance art where objects were set in a historical and cultural context. She spent the final war years, 1917-1918 at the Institute of Art History in Florence. She wrote catalogs for the museum's Spanish and Baroque sculptures, as well as for private collectors in Berlin. She also contributed entries to thei Allgemeines Lexikon of Felix Becker and Ulrich Thieme (ThiemeBecker). Among her apprentices at the museum were the budding Donatello scholar Jenö Lányi. Late in her career she completed the catalog of the Italian and Spanish sculpture, Die italienischen und spanischen Bildwerke der Renaissance und des Barock.

"Schottmüller's writings on the domestic culture of the Itlaina Renaissance remain exemplary" (Krahn). She remained at the Kaiser Friedrich-Wilhelm Museum her entire career. LS

Home Country:  Germany

Sources: Krahn, Volker. "Schottmüller, Frida." The Dictionary of Art 28: 165.

Bibliography: [dissertation:] Die Gestalt des Menschen in Donatelles Werk. Zürich, 1904; Donatello: ein Beitrag zum Verständnis seiner künstlerischen Tat. Munich: Bruckmann, 1904; and Bode, Wilhelm. Denkmäler der Renaissance-Sculptur Toscanas in historischer Anordnung. Sonderdruck der Register. Munich: F. Bruckmann, 1905; Daniel Chodowiecki. Bielefeld: Velhagen & Klasings, 1912; "Der Europateppich im Kaiser-Friedrich-museum." Forschungen aus den Königlichen museen zu Berlin; Wilhelm von Bode zum 70. geburtstage. Berlin: G. Grote, 1915; Bronze Statuetten und Geräte. Berlin: R.C. Schmidt & Co., 1918;. Wohnungskultur und Möbel der italienischen Renaissance. Stuttgart: J. Hoffmann, 1921, English, Furniture and Interior Decoration of the Italian Renaissance. New York: B. Westerman Co., 1928; Fra Angelico da Fiesole: des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart und Leipzig, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1924, English, The Work of Fra Angelico da Fiesole reproduced in three hundred and twenty-seven illustrations, with a Biographical Introduction. New York: Brentano's, 1921; Die Sammlung dr. Eduard Simon, Berlin. 3 vols. Berlin: P. Cassirer, H. Helbing, 1929; Die italienischen und spanischen Bildwerke der Renaissance und des Barock. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1930.

Sujbect's name: Frida Schottmüller