Hannig, born in Hirschberg, Germany on 27 February 1883, came to America with his parents at the age of seven. He attended school in the southwest suburbs before the family settled in Chicago. Young Henry enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where Lawton Parker became his mentor. He made ends meet by working in industrial design and illustration.
By 1908 he was a pupil in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where students followed the traditional European drawing curriculum, beginning with the copying of master engravings and drawing after plaster casts, then concentrating on the nude figure. Students worked toward the goal of winning various academic prizes. One of Hannig's fel
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