Dr. Arthur Feldmann
Arthur Feldmann was born on February 9, 1877 in Vyskov, Moravia, Czechoslovakia. His father, Leopold Feldmann, was a merchant dealing in loden. His mother was Katharine Feldmann née Berger.
Arthur finished five classes at a German Elementary School, after which he entered the German Gymnasium in Kromeriz. After his gymnasium graduation, in 1896, he started studying Law at the University of Vienna. He also took Philosophy as a minor. He graduated with a doctorate degree in 1900 and immediately became a trainee at the Brno District Court.
He then was hired as a lawyer by the law Firm of Dr. Samuel Weizman in Brno. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Feldmann established his own law firm in Brno. He became a very famous and successful lawyer and businessman. His law firm employed some 10 lawyers and secretaries.
Since his early youth, Dr. Feldmann was always very interested in art and art history. Around 1920, he began building his impressive collection of Old Master drawings. Dr. Feldmann was "an enthusiastic collector of drawings," indicated Dr. Otto Benesch in a 1943 edition of The Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Dr. Benesch later became his advisor on the German Schools. Dr. Wilhelm Suida advised him on the Italian Schools.
The Feldmann Collection included Old Master of the German, Italian, Dutch, Flemish, and French Schools from the 15th to the 18th Centuries. His collection was well known internationally throughout the art world. Drawings from his collection were published in the most important and renowned art periodicals and written about by important and renowned art historians both before and after the war.
On the day the Nazis entered Brno, March 15, 1939, the Gestapo confiscated Dr. Feldmann’s villa, which contained amongst other possessions his valuable collection of drawings.
Dr. Feldmann and his wife had to flee the villa within a couple of hours of the occupation. Shortly afterwards, Feldmann was arrested by the Gestapo, imprisoned and tortured at the infamous Špilberk prison and consequently died of a heart attack in March 1941. He was 64 at the time of his death.