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Records of the Fischer Collection (RG-31)

Identifier: RG-31

Scope and Contents

The collection’s inclusive dates are 1967-2013, with the bulk of the material dating from 1985-1987. The collection is comprised of correspondence, memorandums, clippings, publicity, copies of photographs and slides and other ephemeral material.


  • 1967-2013


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.

Historical Note

Ludwig and Rosy Fischer acquired examples of German Expressionism between 1905 and 1925 and their collection included works by artists who were key figures in the Die Brücke movement: Max Beckmann, Peter August Böckstiegel, Otto Dix, Conrad Felixmüeller, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Emil Nolde. Die Brücke (“the Bridge”) was a pivotal movement within German Expressionism, comprised of artists who responded subjectively to the changing world around them. Their style was defined by vivid colors, strong lines, and distorted forms—characteristics that have come to symbolize German Expressionism as a whole.

The Fischer’s collection was divided evenly between their sons, and after Ernst and his wife, Anne, left Germany and settled in Richmond, Virginia, their half of the collection was preserved for more than 70 years in their home. In 2009, the Fischer Collection became the last refugee collection of German Expressionism to enter a U.S. museum when it was acquired by VMFA through a gift-purchase agreement with Ernst’s widow, Anne Fischer.

Source: German Expressionist Work is Reunited with Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection at VMFA


1.25 Linear Feet (1 box; 33 files)

Language of Materials



The collection was artifically created in order to bring together records about the Fischer collection residing in multiple collections in the VMFA Archives, as well as in the museum's records at the Library of Virginia. As such, the collection is entirely comprised of photocopies of records from the 1960s to the 2010s. To date, the museum has not located a collection of contemporaneous Fischer family records within its collections.


The collection is organized into seven series, and items are generally arranged chronologically within each series.

Series 1
History Files, 1986-2013
Series 2
Director's Files, 1984-2004
Series 3
Collections Files, 1985-1998, undated
Series 4
Registration Files, 1987-1989
Series 5
Marketing and Communications, 1995
Series 6
Collectors' Circle Files, 1987
Series 7
Exhibition Files, 1967-1987, undated

Custodial History

The collection was artificially created by the VMFA Archives in February 2016.

Related Materials: VMFA Library - Rare Books

These titles belonged to Ludwig and Rosy Fischer, and were donated to the museum in December 1995 by Anne Fischer.
  • J. B. Neumanns Bilderhefte, 19--?
  • Max Liebermann: Mit einem Porträt nach einer Photographischen Aufnahme und Vierzig Tafeln mit 100 Abbildungen nach Gemälden, Zeichnungen und Radierungen, 1906?
  • Hans von Marées: Sein Leben und Sein Werk, 1909
  • Fritz Boehle, 1909
  • Noa Noa, 1912
  • Auguste Rodin die Kunst: Gespräche des Meisters, 1913
  • Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte, 1915
  • Hiob: Ein Drama, 1917
  • Genius: Zeitschrift für Werdende und Alte Kunst, 1919-1921
  • Archipenko-Album, 1921
  • Das Egon Schiele Buch, 1921
  • Neben der Heerstrasse, 1923
  • Umbra Vitae: Nachgelassene Gedichte, 1924
  • Dei Graphik Ernst Ludwig Kirchners bis 1924, 1924-1926
  • Kirchner-Zeichnungen: 100 Tafeln und Zahlreiche Holzschnitte im Text, 1925
  • Kommende Baukunst, 1926
  • Das Werk Ernst Ludwig Kirchners, 1926

Related Materials: VMFA Library - Catalogs

  • E.L. Kirchner: German Expressionist: A Loan Exhibition, 1958
  • German Expressionism, Die Brücke: Paintings, Prints and Watercolors from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Ernst Fischer: University of Virginia Art Museum, 1978
  • Conrad Felixmüller, 1897-1977: Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Dr. Ernst and Anne Fischer, 1979
  • The Passionate Collectors: Ludwig and Rosi Fischer and German Expressionism: Essays, 1985
  • German Expressionist Art: The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection, 1987
  • Expressionismus und Exil: Die Sammlung Ludwig und Rosy Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, 1990

Related Materials: VMFA Library - Exhibition Files

  • German Expressionist Art: Selections From The Ludwig And Rosy Fischer Collection, 1987
  • German Expressionist Art: Selections from the Fischer Collection, 2010

Related Materials: VMFA Library - Subject Files

  • VMFA Donors: Fischer Family
  • VMFA Collections: Special Collections: Fischer, Ludwig and Rosy: German Expressionist Art

Related Materials: Virginia Holocaust Museum

  • Fischer Family Papers, 1900s-2009 (Record Group 23)

Related Materials: Leo Baeck Institute

  • Guide to the Papers of Anne Fischer, 1884-1982 (Coll. No. AR 10519/MF 992)

Related Materials: Library of Virginia

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Exhibition Files, 1986-1987 (Coll. No. 34679)
Finding Aids to the Institutional Records of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the VMFA Archives | Records of the Fischer Collection
Record Group 31 (RG-31)
Courtney Tkacz, VMFA Archivist; Finding aid encoded by Sylvio Lynch III, Archives Intern (2020)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Archives Repository

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220-4007 United States