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 Christian Friedrich Mayr  (1805 - 1851)

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Lived/Active: New York / Germany      Known for: genre, portrait, religious figure

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Ad Code: 3
Christian Friedrich Mayr
from Auction House Records.
Too Tight
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for his genre and portrait painting, Christian Mayr was also a designer and daguerreotypist who traveled widely including the southern states in America and Central America.

Mayr was born in Nuremberg, Germany where his father, Johann Daniel von Mayer (1778-1810) was an artist, engraver and entrepreneur. Christian's father died when the boy was quite young, and his godfather, Christian Fues, also an artist and engraver, took over his education and then married Christian's mother.

In 1819, he entered the Royal Art Academy in Nuremberg and for some time worked as a lithographer and architectural painter. In 1823, he began study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In about 1834, Mary traveled from Germany to the United States, and that year he first exhibited his work, five of them portraits, at the National Academy of Design in New York, two years before he was elected an Associate member of the Academy. In 1849, he was elected to full membership, which required submitting a self portrait.

In 1838, Christian Mayr became a U.S. citizen, and the next year worked in Boston and from 1840 to 1843, was in Charleston, South Carolina. Because Charleston had a large German population, the community was receptive to his work. His portraiture skills also served him well among the prominent families, and his residency there provides an historical record of the foremost citizens of Charleston.

In 1838 and 1845, Mayr was also in West Virginia, painting at White Sulphur Springs, and the North Carolina Museum of Art has his painting "Kitchen Ball At White Sulphur Springs" in their collection.

In 1843, he left for Havana, Cuba, followed by a stay in New Orleans, and by 1845 was back in New York City where he lived at 58 Lispenard Street until his death in 1851.

His genre paintings provide intimate glimpses of life in the United States, and during his stay in the South captured the condition of black servants and also the relationship between Indians and the early settlers. The location of many of his paintings is unknown.

Sources include:
John Mahe, "Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918"
John Cuthbert, "Early Art and Artists in West Virginia"

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Christian Mayr is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painted in Latin America

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