UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Leon K. Gutmann papers

Identifier: MS0297

Scope and Contents

Collection contains the papers of Leon K. Gutmann, an entrepreneur in Charlotte, North Carolina, who dealt in art and antiques from 1946 to about 1975. This collection contains papers concerning his role in World War II, his art and antique business, gardening, European travels, and his participation in community performing arts. He celebrated lavish birthday parties and had many friends. He traveled extensively and his papers contain a great deal of correspondence from his friends around the world.


  • 1926-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Leon Kroll Gutmann was born on June 26, 1913 to Boris Gutmann and Sarah Kroll Gutmann, in Ridgefield Park, NJ. He attended Columbia University, the Teachers College of New Jersey and John Marshall Law School. Information about his youth is sparse, however he must have moved to Charlotte, North Carolina by the late 1930s. He married Dorothy Hirsch in 1939. He enlisted in the Army soon after the American entry into World War II. Soon after his enlistment, his personal qualities of leadership and intelligence revealed him to be a good candidate to become an officer and subsequently he was sent to Officer Candidate School. He was promoted to the rank of captain in the Army specializing in chemical warfare. He had proficiency in four languages and served as a liaison at the Ministry of War in Paris. After the war, he returned to Charlotte and established the Gutmann Galleries, a business dealing in art and antiques, located on Providence Road. In addition to their business, the Gutmanns were also known for their gardening, their travels to foreign countries, and their philanthropic support of the performing arts in the Charlotte area. He was president of the North Carolina Symphony and the Charlotte Garden Club as well as the North Carolina Association for Crippled Children and Adults. He also served on the boards of the Nature Museum, Opera Association, Oratorio Singers, and Temple Beth El. Leon died on October 26, 2000. Not long after his death, the Arts & Science Council established the Gutmann Society to recognize those who support the cultural community with a lifelong interest, leadership, and financial commitment through estate planning.


2 Linear Feet




Papers generated by Leon K. Gutmann, an art expert and dealer in Charlotte, NC in the twentieth century.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from the estate of Leon K. Gutmann, (John Offerdahl, executor).

Processing Information

Processed by Betsy Clementson, 2005.
Leon K. Gutmann papers
Betsy Clementson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated