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Collection of Paintings

Göttingen University's Collection of Paintings dates back to the year 1795: in his last will, Johann Wilhelm Zschorn (1714–1795), Higher Appeal Court Secretary in Celle, be­queathed the uni­versity more than 270 paintings, which were transported to Göttingen in 1796 on three horse-drawn carriages. A condition of the le­gacy was that the works must be carefully preserved, publicly ex­hibi­ted and put to use in support of aca­demic edu­cation – although at that time, Art History had not yet come into existence as an academic subject. The collection of artworks was intended "for the development of taste, accustoming the eye and the senses to that which is good and beautiful (...) Our age demands besides bread-and-butter degree studies also some culture" (Göttingische Anzeigen, 1796).

As early as 1805, Johann Dominik Fiorillo (1748–1821), the col­lec­tion's first curator, pub­lished a printed cata­logue, but it was not until 1926 that the col­lection was first docu­mented for aca­demic pur­poses by Wolfgang Stechow (1896–1974). Donations by Professors Julius Baum (1882), Karl Ewald Hasse (1902) and Wilhelm Dilthey (1907) enlarged the col­lection con­siderably, par­ticu­larly in the area of Italian painting.

The Collection of Paintings is rich in works by masters such as Lippo Vanni (c. 1315–after 1375), Francesco Botticini (c. 1446– 1497), David Teniers the Elder (1582–1649), Jan Steen (c. 1626– 1679), Jan van Goyen (1596–1656), Jan Victors (1619–1679), Salomon van Ruysdael (1602–1670), and Joos de Momper (1564–1635). But Göttingen University also possesses modern period works, among them pain­tings by Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907) and Max Pechstein (1881–1955). After several chan­ges of location – from the apar­tment that housed the first cu­rator, via the Royal Academic Museum, to the Accouchierhaus, and then to Theaterplatz – in 1987 the Collection of Paintings was eventually accom­modated in the Altes Auditorium. Following a major refur­bish­ment, it has been on view, also to the public, in moder­nised ex­hibition rooms since 2011.

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Collection of Prints and Drawings

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Collection of Sculptures

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Video Art