Carl Sachs was born in a Jewish family in Jawor (Jauer in German). He spent the period of acquiring knowledge and his first years of regular work in several German towns. Within the next 9 years he had undertaken numerous business trips, until he overtook in 1887 the company Forell & Co., specialized in production and trade with haberdashery and garment. From 1907 Sachs lived with his spouse Margarete borne Forell, in a villa designed by Fritz Behrendt in the Kleinburgstraße. Carl Sachs was comprehensively educated and mastered several foreign languages. He traveled a lot within almost the whole Europe and to Egypt as well. In Wrocław he joined many activities within the city’s cultural life. He joined for instance the administrative council of the opera, the orchestral union as well, the superintendence of Silesian Museum of Fine Arts and the Association for Friends of Art. As a co-founder of the Jewish Museum’s Association he supported developing the Jewish heritage in Wrocław. For many years Carl Sachs was famous as a brilliant collector who supported the art displays organized in Wrocław with artworks from his ownership. His art collection was described several times in literature. In 1916 an exhibition of canvas paintings from the Sachs’ collection was organized in the Art Salon Ernst Arnold, thirteen years later the Wrocław’s inhabitants were able to admire the graphic works from the Sachs’ collection in the seat of the Main Headquarters. Sachs enriched several exhibitions in Wrocław, Berlin, Colony, Zurich and Basle with deposits from his collection. In 1932 Sachs, in spite of the world’s economical crisis, devolved his whole collection of graphic art and drawings by German artists, to the Silesian Museum of Fine Arts. Many of those works were overtaken after 1945 by the National Museum of Warsaw. As the Nazis overtook the government, Carl Sachs wearily deposited several valuable artworks from his ownership to Zurich. In 1939 he immigrated with his wife to Switzerland; however he was forced to leave 60 paintings as well as numerous graphics and sculptures in Wrocław. According to the edict called "Verordnung über den Einsatz jüdischen Vermögens" they were sequestrated by the government. The paintings which Sachs had managed to transfer to Switzerland had to be sold by him afterwards in order to gain money for maintenance. Carl Sachs died in 1943 in Basel.
The Sachs’ collection of paintings included works German and French artists. There were also a few works by Dutch and Flemish artist, like David Teniers the Younger. Carls Sachs became famous with his impressive collection of graphics and drawings, which were offered and sold on auction by Boerner and Cassirer in 1931. Among them were works by Whistler, Munch, Toulouse-Lautrec, Goya, Corot, Picasso and Daumier. Sachs purchased also the paintings by Hans Purrmann – a painter whose individual style was close to the Matisse’s. In assemling his collection the Wrocław’s owner frequently asked for advice a connoisseur on modern prints – Loys Henri Delteil. Among the guests who visited the willa in the Kleinburgstraße were the renowned art critics Julius Maier-Graefe and Carl Scheffler, they could admire there paintings by Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Delacroix and Courbet, as well as the exquisite portrait of V. Jacquemont by Monet. The collector also owned a considerable group of works by German artists, like Wilhelm Leibl, Fritz von Uhde, Carl Spitzweg and Georg Kolbe. Within the part of the collection devolved later to the Silesian Museum of Fine Arts were the works by Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt, Lovis Corinth and Käthe Kollwitz.
The collection of sculptures was also dominated with works by German and French artists, like Georg Kolbe and Aristide Maillol.
Arthur Lindner, Die Gemälde-Sammlung Carl Sachs, "Kunstchronik“, 9.6.1916, p. 362-364
Margot Rieβ, Breslauer Kunstbrief: Die Bilder der Sammlung Sachs, "Kunstwanderer“, 3 (1921/1922), p. 477-478
Die Sammlung Carl Sachs. Graphik des XIX. Jahrhunderts. Versteigerung durch C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, und Paul Cassirer, Berlin/Leipzig 1931
Erich Wiese, Die Stiftung Carl Sachs für das Schlesische Museum der bildenden Künste in Breslau, "Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte“, 1 (1932), p. 149-152.
Ewa Frąckowiak, Ryciny autorskie z drugiej połowy XIX wieku i początków XX wieku z kolekcji Carla Sachsa, [in:] Z dziejów rysunku i grafiki na Śląsku oraz w kolekcjach i zbiorach ze Śląskiem związanych, Bogusław Czechowicz, Arkadiusz Dobrzyniecki, Izabela Żak (ed.), Wrocław 1999, p. 203-214
Monika Tatzkow, Hans Joachim Hinz, Bürger, Opfer und die historische Gerechtigkeit. Das Schicksal jüdischer Kunstsammler in Breslau, "Osteuropa”, 56 (2006), p. 155-171
- Dr. Hans-Joachim Hinz