Hanns and Kate Schaeffer specialized in Old Master paintings from all European schools. The records of the Schaeffer Galleries
document gallery's stock and business dealings from the early 1920s until the late 1980s, both in Berlin and New York. The
core of the collection comprises approximately two and a half thousand photographs of art that was handled by the gallery,
which are filed along with documents concerning attribution, provenance, acquisition history, and sales. Card catalogs, lists,
and ledgers record artworks sold and purchased and detail transactions with clients. These documents of business dealings
are amplified by extensive correspondence with art collectors, museum curators, art dealers, art historians, restorers, and
storage and shipping companies. Also included are inventories of private collections, lists of artworks shown at exhibitions
held at the gallery, and unpublished albums with photographs of gallery stock.
Hanns Schaeffer (1886-1967) and his wife Kate Born Schaeffer (1898-2000) established the Schaeffer Galleries in Berlin in
1925. Hanns Schaeffer had already operated an art gallery in Berlin since 1921 and later operated galleries in London and
San Francisco. Those galleries were also named Schaeffer Galleries. The London and the San Francisco galleries closed before
Schaeffer Galleries in Manhattan, New York, was founded after Hanns and Kate Schaeffer moved to the United States permanently
in 1933. The gallery in Berlin remained operational until 1939. The New York gallery was first located at 61 East 57th Street
and changed venues several times before moving to its final location at 983 Park Avenue where it remained for over fifty years.
After Hanns Schaeffer's death in 1967, Kate Schaeffer became the owner and president of the gallery and continued to manage
the business until her death in 2000. Schaeffer Galleries closed shortly thereafter.