ADOLF HITLER'S SKETCH OF HIS PLANNED LINZ ART GALLERY
A superlative Adolf Hitler piece, his original sketch for his planned Linz Art Gallery also known as the Fuhrer-Museum, hand-drawn by Hitler and given to his confidante and advisor on architectural matters, ALBERT SPEER (1905-1981), the Minister of Armaments and War Production, later convicted of war crimes at Nuremburg. The detailed sketch was executed by Hitler on a 10.75 x 8.25 in. sheet of lined paper, mounted to a cardboard backing. It depicts a grandiose structure with several archways, with a second monumental building at the back, with two large ornate columns to the right, in the monolithic style favored by Hitler. On the verso are brief notes penned by Speer, including the number ‘75' indicating which sketch this is out of the 125 retained by Speer; ‘Bibl. Linz' to name the topic of the sketch; ‘40' for the year Hitler drew this piece; and ‘4, 0' providing the asking price Speer had in mind when he initially tried to sell this item in the late 70s or 80s. In Speer's memoirs ‘Inside the Third Reich' on page 146, he discusses his collection of Hitler sketches. In part: ‘...I kept these quick sketches of Hitler's, noting their dates and subjects, and have preserved them to this day. It is interesting that of [a] total hundred and twenty-five such drawings, a good fourth of them relate to the Linz building project, which was always closest to his heart. Equally frequent are sketches for theaters...'. Accompanying this lot is a copy of a certificate of provenance from the grandson of Albert Speer, Berthold Speer. In 2022 Berthold sent this sketch along with approx. 30 other sketches to German militaria auctioneers Herman Historica for auction, approx. 12 of which are documented in Billy F. Price's book ‘Adolf Hitler: The Unknown Artist'. This particular sketch can be seen in Price's book under the number, 681. Hitler's focus on this specific building came from a desire to transform his hometown of Linz, Austria into a major cultural center, featuring the ‘greatest museum in the world'. This planned hub of his perceived cultural superiority was never realized, though Hitler managed to ‘acquire' much of the fine art throughout Europe, some of which is still lost to time.