Biography of Otto Lanz
Otto Lanz studied in Geneva, Bern, Basel, Leipzig, and Munich and obtained his doctorate in 1889. In 1888 he became an assistant to Ludwig Lichtheim (1845-1832) and from 1890 to 1892 was an assistant to Theodore Kocher. 1892-1893 he visited Berlin, Naples, and London, and in 1894 he settled as a practitioner and Dozent of surgery at the University in Bern.
In 1902 Lanz was appointed professor of surgery in Amsterdam, remaining there until his death. He was well known for his surgery of the thyroid gland and for his studies on the vermiform appendix. In 1907 he invented the meshed graft.
Apart from his professional achievements, Lanz was a great connoisseur and passionate collector of Italian Renaissance art. In 1906 objects from his collection were installed in a room in the Rijksmuseum. In the period July-October 1934 a significant part of his collection was included in the exhibition of Italian art in Dutch possession in the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam. Lanz' contribution to the exhibition was 122 paintings. After the death of Lanz in March 1935, the collection, consisting of paintings, sculpture, furniture and ceramics, approximately 430 objects, was entrusted to the Rijksmuseum by his heirs. In 1941 his widow sold the collection to Adolf Hitler who acquired it for his proposed Führermuseum. The price was 2 million Swiss francs and 350,000 Dutch guilders. After the capitulation, the collection was returned to The Netherlands.