Minutoli Alexander, von, 1806-1887 /  ,   - Friedersdorf am Queiss

Alexander von Minutoli

Alexander von Minutoli (1806-1887)

Alexander von Minutoli was educted as a lawyer and an economist. However, his interests were focused on fine arts which was confirmed by numerous publications. In 1834 he took an office position in Liegnitz and around the same time he started assembling a collection of arts and crafts items and works of art. He was actively involved in regional activities, e.g. he participated in archeological excavations in Silesia. He also collected objects made by local craftsmen.

Duration of this collection in Silesia: around 1830 - 1945
Description of the collection:

Minutoli created an enormous collection (estimated at over 28 000 objects), which consisted mostly of applied arts items. His intention was to prepare a template book of sorts for contemporary artisans, which is why he pursued the plan of exhibiting the collection in public. Thanks to the support of the Prussian king Frederic William V exhibition rooms were made available to Minutoli in the castle of Liegnitz. In 1854-1855 Minutoli, with the assistance of photographer Ludwig Belitski, prepared a publication Vorbilder für Fabrikanten und Handwerker. It was a set of albums presenting selected objects from his collection in 4500 photographs.

A portion of the collection of antiquities was inherited from Minutoli's father Heinrich, who was a member of archeological expeditions to Egypt. The painting gallery counted 200 objects and its highlight was a gothic altar by Nicholas Obilman from the church of St. Peter and Paul in Liegnitz. In his wanderings in Silesia Minutoli acquired also numerous objects of stonework which later decorated the walls of his castle in Friedersdorf am Queiss.

Categories of works of art in this collection: Applied arts (1), Painting (23), Sculpture (6)

Vorbilder für Handwerker und Fabrikanten aus den Sammlungen des Minutolischen Instituts ... zu Liegnitz, Alexander von Minutoli (ed.), Liegnitz 1855

Alexander von Minutoli, Catalog der Sammlungen von Meisterwerken der Industrie und Kunst des Instituts Minutoli zu Liegnitz, Berlin 1872-187

Catalogue der Sammlungen von Musterwerken der Industrie und Kunst zusammengebracht durch Herrn Freiherrn Dr. Alexander von Minutoli Geheimen Regierungsrath in Liegnitz auch enthaltend die wertvollen Miniaturen, Antiken und Gläser aus dem Nachlasse sr. Excellenz des Herrn General Freiherrn Heinrich von Minutoli, Aktionshaus J. M. Herberle, Köln 1875

Henry Tode, Die Gemäldesammlung des Freiherrn von Minutoli, „Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst” 1886, no. 21, p. 319-325

Katalog der Galerie Minutoli vom Schlosse Friedersdorf in Schlesien (Gemälde alter Meister), Rudolph Lepke’s 706 Berliner Auctions-Katalog, Berlin 1899

Katarzyna Suska, Historia zbioru gemm szklanych Aleksandra Minutolego w Legnicy, „Archeologia” 1994, no. 45, p. 104-106

Jerzy Żelazowski, I vetri a figure d’oro delle collezioni di Gołuchów e di Heinrich Menu von Minutoli nel Museo Nazionale di Varsavia, „Archeologia” 1999,

Bernd Vogelsang, Beamteneinkauf. Die Sammlungen des Freiherrn von Minutoli in Liegnitz. Eine Dokumentation zur Geschichte des ersten deutschen Kunstgewerbemuseums, Dortmund 1986


Minutoli's collection was partly exhibited in the castle of Liegnitz in 1845-1875, but its main location was the palace in Friedersdorf am Queiss purchased in 1865. The items from Minutoli's collection remained in Friedersdorf until WW2, with the exception of a part of the painting gallery which was auctioned at Rudolph Lepke's salon in Berlin in 1899.

Localization: Friedersdorf am Queiss (Biedrzychowice) - palace of family von Minutoli
Authors of this entry:
  • Magdalena Palica
Published on: 30 / 11 / 2009
Project co-financed by Ministry of Labour and Social Policy under Government Project – Civic Benefit Fund.
All information published under license: Creative Commons