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 Louis Maurer  (1832 - 1932)

About: Louis Maurer


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: lithographer-horses, western painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Louis Maurer
1832 (Biebrich-on-Rhine, Germany)
1932 (New York City)

New York

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lithographer-horses, western painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A native of Germany, Louis Maurer, immigrated to America in 1851 with his family, having trained as in mechanical drawing, anatomy, lithography and ivory carving.  He had also helped his father with cabinet making.

Maurer took a job for eight years as a lithographer for Currier and Ives, earning a beginning salary of five dollars a week.  He became known especially for his prints of trotting horses, and one of his most famous series was called The Life of a Fireman. He developed a system whereby several artists worked on a single print, with each having their specialty.  He and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait painted Indian and western subjects, and plagiarized their early efforts from pictures they found in the Astor library that were done by George Catlin and Karl Bodmer. 

It was said that he was one of the last notable artists to work for Currier and Ives.

From 1872 to 1884, he had his own successful lithographic firm.

A collector of sea shells, a flautist and a marksman, Louis Maurer began study at age fifty at the Gotham Art School and later studied with William Merritt Chase at the National Academy of Design.  Considering himself a painter later in his life, he made two extensive trips West, one of them in 1885 as the guest of Buffalo Bill Cody.  On the second trip, he did numerous Rocky Mountain paintings and animal depictions.  At the age of 99, he had his first solo exhibition, which was held in New York City.

He died in 1932 at the age of 100.

Sources include:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

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