Schnütgen, (Joseph Wilhelm) Alexander
- Hiltrud Westermann-Angerhausen
(b Steele an der Ruhr, Feb 22, 1843; d Listernohl, Nov 24, 1918).
German, collector, art historian, and canon of Cologne Cathedral. Schnütgen studied theology and art history in Münster, Tübingen, Leuven, and Mainz. Ordained in 1866, he became vicar of Cologne Cathedral and assistant to Bishop Franz Baudri, was active in the Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst, founded by Baudri 1852, and was also in contact with major players in the culturally and politically active Catholic scene in the Rhineland under Prussian rule, such as Friedrich Baudri and August Reichensberger. Schnütgen’s interest in artworks that had fallen into disregard in many country churches gradually turned him into a knowledgeable collector in contact with collectors and art historians throughout Europe, such as Franz Bock in Aix-la-Chapelle, Fritz Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp, Anton Münzenberger in Frankfurt, and Wilhelm Bode in Berlin. From 1891 to 1896, and again from 1900 to 1906, Schnütgen directed the Diözesan-Museum in Cologne.
As of 1878 he started to refinance his collecting activities by selling large parts of his own collection to important museums and ecclesiastical institutions in Berlin, Nuremberg, Hamburg, Esztergom, and London. Since ...