Albrecht August Haselbach was born into a family of brewers in Namslau. Aside of a successful business career (under his reigns the company became one of the leading private producers of beer and groceries in Silesia) he was interested in theater, music and history. He was acquainted with the intellectual and artistic circles of Breslau. The collection he assembled included both old and contemporary art but its focus was on prints with landscapes of the region. Towards the end of WW2 Haselbach exported his collection to Bayern and soon followed them together with his family. He ran a small brewery in Munich until the end of his life.
The works of art collected by Haselbach at first were intended to invoke an atmosphere of a medieval castle in his residence in Namslau, hence the collection included old objects of craftsmanship and stonework. Simultaneously the collector was acquiring paintings and prints, and his wife - chinaware adorned with landscapes of the region.
At the beginning of the 1940s Haselbach's collection, then already significantly bigger thanks to his earlier acquisitions of the collections of Martin Witte from Breslau and Hans Joseph Klau from Bolkenhain, became the largest and most representative assemblage of topographical prints of Silesia that ever existed. It contained 4 thousand prints in various techniques, made from 15th century till contemporary times. The core of the collection were landscapes of Romantic and Biedermeier styles from the second third of the 19th century.
In 1942 Haselbach purchased a few oil paintings by Otto Dix (a series of religious scenes on the background of the Giant Mountains), the sketches for which were made during the artist's stay in the Haselbach family house in Querseiffen (today's Płóczki) in Hirschberger Tal (today's Jelenia Góra valley).
Lob der Heimat. Schlesiens Landschaft in Gemälden, Graphik und Handzeichnungen des 19. Jahrhunderts, Exhibition catalogue. Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Breslau, Schlossmuseum, April – Juni 1942, Breslau .
Günther Grundmann, Die Namslauer Burg und ihr musischer Besitzer Albrecht Haselbach, [in:] Günther Grundmann, Erlebter Jahre Widerschein, 2. ed., München 1974, p. 247-252.
Fritz Löffler, Otto Dix. Bilder zur Bibel und zu Legenden, zu Vergänglichkeit und Tod, Berlin 1986, p. 59 and the following.
Zeit-Reisen. Historische Schlesien-Ansichten aus der Graphiksammlung Haselbach. Podróże w czasie. Dawne widoki Śląska na grafikach z kolekcji Haselbacha. Autorzy tekstów: Angelika Marsch, Johanna Brade, Diana Codogni-Łańcucka, Arno Herzig, Henryk Waniek. Exhibition catalogue, Dietmar Popp, Ulrike Lorenz, Jerzy Ilkosz, Markus Bauer (ed.), Marburg, Regensburg, Wrocław, Görlitz 2007-2008.
After 1945 a part of the collection was gradually sold out to private collectors and institutions. In 1961 its remaining core was divided. Over 3.2 thousand prints were acquired by the state of Hessen, which deposited them in 3 batches to East German Gallery (Ostdeutsche Galerie, today's Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie) in Regensburg in the 1970s. A smaller part of the prints collection and other objects (oil paintings, arts and crafts items, books and letters) remained in the hands of the owner and his heirs and were later deposited to the foundation named Stiftung Kulturwerk Schlesien in Würzburg. In 2004 they were transferred to the Silesian Museum (Schlesisches Museum) in Görlitz.
- Diana Codogni-Łańcucka