The Tellgmann Collection

Even though Huis Doorn has a "no acquisition" policy, an exception was made for this photo collection. In 1998 the descendants of photographer Oscar Tellgmann from Eschwege, Germany, put up a series of 65 photos for sale. These photos, all gelatine silver prints were taken by Oscar Tellgmann in Doorn in 1933. They show the exterior and interior of Huis Doorn, the park, the orangery and the gate building. Oscar Tellgmann also made a series of portraits showing the earlier Emperor Wilhelm II and his second wife Hermine.  

As the photos offer a unique impression of the situation in and around Huis Doorn in the year 1933 - the time in which Wilhelm resided in Huis Doorn - funding was needed to purchase the collection.  With the financial support of Het Anjerfonds Utrecht and the Stichting Vrienden van Huis Doorn the museum was lucky to purchase the photos in 1998.  

The question remains why these photos were not part of the collection of Huis Doorn from the start.  Clearly, the Emperor asked Oscar Tellgman to travel to Doorn in September of 1933 to take the pictures. However, the reason for this request remains unknown. His decision for Tellgmann was understandable: Together with his brother Franz, Oscar had previously worked for the Emperor, prior to World War I - in particular to take pictures of military exercises. He continued working for Wilhelm during war time. Of course, Tellgmann sent these photos also to Doorn. However, they were not found during the inventory taken in the ‘90's.  It is possible that the Emperor's heirs claimed the series after his death or that the photos disappeared otherwise from the inventory.

The purchased photos were found in the black original cardboard box labelled: 63 photos. The cardboard box included the portraits and other photos in two separate envelopes.  The first envelope was marked:  12 photos of Emperor Wilhelm and Empress Hermine; the second envelope: Huis Doorn, 51 photos. On closer inspection the actual number turned out to be 65 photos.

The Tellgmann collection is of such great important, as the photos show the condition of the park and the building during the time as Wilhelm and Hermine lived in Huis Doorn. The shots showing the interior in particular are in excellent condition and provide interesting images of the furniture. They are therefore are an important source for the presentation of the exhibit.

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