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 Herman Hugo Haag  (1871 - 1895)

About: Herman Hugo Haag


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Lived/Active: Utah      Known for: landscape, figure and religious painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Herman Haag
1871 (Stuttgart, Germany)
1895 (Salt Lake City, Utah)


Often Known For
landscape, figure and religious painting

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Biography from Anthony's Fine Art:
After J. T. Harwood’s return to Salt Lake City from California in 1885, he set up as an art teacher in the territory’s capitol city and took on some pupils.  At least one of these was Herman Haag who later established a creditable local reputation as a painter. Harwood was joined by Haag in 1888 or ’89 in Europe as the fifth and youngest LDS missionary in Paris.

Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, the LDS convert went all the way to Salt Lake City only to be advised by Harwood and others to study art in Paris.  Harwood thought Haag exceptionally talented when that teenager took lessons from him in Utah, and now the youth proved it by taking a prize competition at the Académie Julian, won “over 40 competitors” not even a year after his arrival in France.

In this case, Haag selected a traditional and religious subject, John the Baptist Presenting Christ to the Multitude, to suit his basically conservative and pious nature. The piece is currently in the collection of the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City.

Little is known about Haag's Parisian experiences, but his impression of the city is quoted in a letter written to his sister that same month: "I don't know of any other city which loves the beautiful and admires art more than Paris does . . . It is a great contrast to come from such a quiet place as Utah into such a city as Paris is today."

The artist returned to Utah in the early ‘90s and was hired by the University of Utah art department in the period 1893-94, teaching and influence other Utah notables Alma B. Wright, Alice Merrill Horne, and Lee Greene Richards.   However, on October 12, 1895, the young man died just before his twenty-fourth birthday, leaving a hole in the U of U art program.

Based on the artist's entry in Artists of Utah, Olpin, Siefrit, Swanson, 1999.

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