Joseph Beuys was born on May 12, 1921 in the little town of Cleves in the Northwestern corner of Germany, near the Dutch border. (Beuys is a Dutch name; it rhymes with "voice"). He grew up in the troubled years of post World War I Germany. He worked on farms as a boy, as an adolescent he joined a traveling circus. At nineteen, he was conscripted into the Luftwaffe and was injured several times. In 1945 he turned to sculpture and painting.
His drawings and paintings were exploratory studies of natural forms. In 1947 he enrolled at Dusseldorf Academy of Art. From 1951 to 1954 he worked at sculpture and drawings at his own studio in Dusseldorf. On September 19, 1959 he m
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