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 Carl Von Marr  (1858 - 1936)

About: Carl Von Marr


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Lived/Active: Wisconsin / Germany      Known for: genre, portrait, narrative, figure

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BIOGRAPHY for Carl Von Marr
1858 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
1936 (München)

Wisconsin / Germany

Copyright by Owner

Often Known For
genre, portrait, narrative, figure

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San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Carl Von Marr became a renowned expatriate painter and teacher, living much of his professional life in Germany where he created numerous works including figure, genre, and religious subjects. He also depicted peasants in landscapes in a somber palette. Later Marr investigated decorative and symbolic subjects and adopted a much brighter and wider chromatic range.

He was born in Milwaukee to parents John and Bertha Marr. They raised their son in a modest home on Knapp Street. John Marr was a wood-engraver artist in an engraving firm, and his son, Carl Marr, joined him in the business at age fifteen. He also took lessons from Henry Vianden, prominent Milwaukee artist of that era.

Marr went to Weimar, Germany 1875 to 1876 to study at the Weimar Academy followed by study at the Academy at Berlin, and then from 1877 to 1885, with the exception of two years, was at the Royal Academy in Munich. There he did both painting and teaching and became highly regarded in both fields.

He returned to Milwaukee in 1880 to teach art but found he was unable to support himself financially with his talent. He went back to Munich in 1882, where he remained an expatriate; eventually he was knighted by the King of Bavaria and given special honor by the King of Italy. He became a professor at the Royal Academy in Munich in 1893, and the director in 1919. In exhibitions, he received gold medals in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Madrid, Budapest, Salzburg, Veinna, Dresden, Barcelona, Antwerp, Liege, New York and Chicago.

Except for a visit at the time of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, Marr did not return to Milwaukee again until 1929 when the University of Wisconsin awarded him an honorary degree. He remained proud of his American citizenship and taught most of the American students in Munich over several decades. However, he was not enthusiastic about the modernism that crept into German art after World War I. Of these innovations, he told a friend, William George Bruce: "I have battled against this modern craze, the jazz expressions in the field of art, but I have not succeeded in stemming it or securing a return to true details. I adhere to the old school of art with all that is implied in the same. I cannot reconcile myself to the present-day trend". (Bruce 8).

William George Bruce, "Carl von Marr". Courtesy of Sidney Hamper, President, John H. Vanderpoel Art Association
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
William Gerdts, "Art Across America"

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