Heinrich Amersdorffer

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Heinrich Amersdorffer
Born 10 December 1905
Died 2 December 1986
Nationality German
Occupation painter, printmaker, war artist, art teacher

Heinrich Amersdorffer (10 December 1905 – 2 December 1986) was a German painter, printmaker, war artist and art teacher.


Amersdorffer was a son of Alexander Amersdorffer (1875-1946), the successor to art historian Ludwig Justi as director of the Prussian Academy of Arts.[1]

During the 1930s he exhibited a number of times in the National Socialist Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung (Great German art exhibition) at Munich.[1] During the Second World War he worked as a war artist on behalf of the Wehrmacht, covering the western campaign and the invasion of France, including the depiction of undamaged French cathedrals amidst the ruins of bombed cities,[1] which was used to propagate the claim that German forces gave "magnanimous protection to architectural cultural heritage".[2] His cycles of war art made his name within the Third Reich, especially a painting of Rouen Cathedral, exhibited in 1941.[1] In January 1942 Amersdorffer said in the magazine Art for All: "It has been granted to me to be able to work on this great task on behalf of the armed forces".[3]

In the postwar period Amersdorffer was appointed to a teaching position at the Berlin Academy of Arts, and later became an honorary professor.[1]

In 1976 he gave his collection of about 1,000 ancient Greek and Roman coins to the Berlin Antiquities Collection. A chief condition of the donation was that it would forever remain a part of the collection of antiquities, and consequently, could not become part of the Berlin Coin Cabinet.


  • Dorffer, Heinrich Bunting: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Henry Amersdorffer collection, Berlin, 1963
  • Heinrich Amersdorffer 70th anniversary exhibition, including oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, etchings. Rathaus Galerie, Wittenau, Berlin, 1976
  • Ancient coins from the Amersdorffer collection of the National Museum's cultural heritage of Prussia pp. 28,29, Mann Verlag, Berlin, 1976. (illustrated issue) ISBN 3-7861-4111-8
  • Heinrich Amersdorffer: Work Biography: arts and education, a life in tension between improvisation and organization, Rembrandt-Verlag, Berlin, 1978. ISBN 3-7925-0256-9

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Klee, Ernst: The Cultural Encyclopedia of the Third Reich - before and after 1945, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2007, S. 15, reprinted 2009. ISBN 3596171539
  2. ^ Quotation from Joachim Petsch’s Paintings and Sculpture in the Third Reich, reprinted in Ernst Klee’s Lexicon of culture, p. 15
  3. ^ Quotation from Ernst Klee’s Lexicon of culture