Transnational Giving in the Age of National Confrontation: Ludwig Mond’s Bequests for the University of Heidelberg, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and the City of Cassel
The success of his chemical business allowed Ludwig Mond to support members of his extended Mond/Hertz family as well as to give money for charitable and philanthropic purposes. Mond’s financial transactions were not limited to Great Britain but spanned Western Europe. He supported the arts and sciences in England, Germany, and Italy. His donations created a transnational space that was connected by the travels of Mond, Richter, and Hertz; the financial transactions to acquire art objects or to support artists; and the establishment of collections, endowments, and institutions. Regional laws, as for instance in the case of Italy, which made the export of Renaissance art nearly impossible, were both a reason for and an obstacle to the creation of the transnational space. Provincial laws in Italy forced Mond to entertain the idea of creating a second location for his art collection within Italy rather than bringing the paintings to London. Those laws—a unified national law that banned the export of art objects emerged only in 19021—created a stumbling block for the assembling of a single transnational Mond art collection in London. At the same time, it provided an incentive for Mond to create a transnational space through the acquisition of the Palazzo Zuccari in Rome that was to house a part of his art collection. It further served as a second home for the extended Mond family and was turned into a meeting place for artists, scholars, and politicians from across Europe.