L. Bernheimer Art und Antiques Business

In 1864 Lehmann Bernheimer founded the „Kunst- and Antiquitätenhaus L. Bernheimer“ (L. Bernheimer Art und Antiques Business). The firm soon shifted its focus to exclusive home furnishings with carpets and tapestries, als well as objets d’art and antiques. Costumer included the Bavarian royal family and representatives of Europeś aristrocratic elite, als well as museums, entrepeneures, artists and collectors. After the death of to company founder, Bernheimer's sons Max, Ernst und Otto took over the management of the internationally renowned firm in 1918.

The seizure of power by the Nazis had a devasting impact on the Bernheimer company. In Munich, the boycotting of Jewish shops started on 31 March 1933. Members of the SA smeared anti-Semitic slogans across the shop windows and harassed customers.

The „Kunst- und Antiquitätenhaus L. Bernheimer“ was badly vandalised during the progrom in the night of 9/10 November 1938. Shortly afterwards, the Nazis closed the business and forbade the Jewish proprietor from entering the premises. At the instigation of the Gauleiter Wagner, the association „Kameradschaft der Künstler e.V.“ took over the business on 16 November 1939. The aryanised Bernheimer art and antiques business continues under the name „Münchner Kunsthandels-Gesellschaft/Kameradschaft der Künstler e.V. (vormals L. Bernheimer KG)“ until 1945.

Max Bernheimer died in March 1933. In April 1939 his widow Karoline managed to flee to New York City, USA. From the end of 1938 onwards Ernst and his wife Berta Bernheimer applied in vain for permissions to emigrate. It was not until February 1941 that the whole family succeed to emigrate to Cuba.

Otto Bernheimer and his sons were deported to Dachau concentration camp during the pogrom in the night of 9/10 November 1938. Together with his wife Charlotte, and their sons, Ludwig and Kurt, he managed to flee to Venezuela in April 1939.

Under the direction of Georg Neuner the „Städtische Musikinstrumentensammlung“ bought instruments from the art and antiques dealer in 1940. These includes a variety of different bells, drums and string instruments from Persia, China and Central Asia, as well as transverse trumpets from Africa. When the music instrument collection was transferred to the Münchner Stadtmuseum in 1958 the instruments became an integral part of the museum's holdings. The seventeen musical instruments were returned to the descendents of the Bernheimer family in 2019.

Plan Your Visit

Opening hours

Although the Münchner Stadtmuseum's exhibitions closed on January 8, 2024, for a complete renovation, the cinema and the Stadtcafé will remain open to visitors until June 2027.

Information to Von Parish Costume Library in Nymphenburg

Filmmuseum München – Screenings
Tuesday / Wednesday / Friday / Saturday 6 pm and 9 pm
Thursday 7 pm
Sunday 5 pm

Getting here

S/U-Bahn station: Marienplatz
U-Bahn station: Sendlinger Tor
Bus 52/62 stop: St.-Jakobs-Platz


St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
80331 München
Phone +49-(0)89-233-22370
Fax +49-(0)89-233-25033
E-Mail stadtmuseum(at)muenchen.de
E-Mail filmmuseum(at)muenchen.de

Ticket reservation Phone +49-(0)89-233-24150