Volbach, Wolfgang Fritz
- Robert S. Nelson
(b Mainz, Aug 28, 1892; d Mainz, Dec 23, 1988).
German art historian and curator. Prolific scholar of medieval art, especially sculpture and the minor arts of the early Middle Ages and Byzantium, Volbach was a museum curator in Berlin, Rome, and Mainz. On the staff of Berlin museums from 1916 to 1933, he left for Italy after he was judged not Aryan because of his mother’s Jewish background. In 1934 he accepted a position at the Vatican museums, where he catalogued and organized the collections of the Museo Sacro. Returning to Germany in 1946, he was associated with the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz from 1950 and served as its director from 1953 to 1958.
For his doctoral dissertation, published in 1917, he wrote on the theme of St George in German Renaissance art, but his real interest was in earlier periods. In a catalogue of the Mainz museum from 1916, he wrote about Late Antique and early medieval ivories. Updated in ...