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 Herbert Johannes Marxen  (1900 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: Germany      Known for: painting, caricatures

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Herbert Johannes Marxen (1900-1954)

A German artist, caricaturist and painter, he was born on January 27, 1900 in Flensburg, Germany.  From 1917 until 1921, interrupted by military service for the first World War, he studied to be a commercial artist in Flensburg and Hamburg.  In 1922, he designed the poster for the festival “Nordmark Tage” in a very modernist style which causes an outcry in the local press.

1929/1930 Marxen contributes many caricatures to the journal Simplicissimus. 1930 until 1932 he is the most productive staff member of the satirical magazine Jugend until the advent of National Socialism brings an end to all critical journals.  In 1938, the Gestapo confiscates about 200 drawings and caricatures with anti-national-socialistic contents from Marxen’s studio.  At the same time, he is excluded from the “Reichskammer der bildenden Künste” which means a ban from practicing his profession.  From 1945 on, after military service for the Second World War, drawings of Marxen are published in several journals and newspapers again and he concentrates more on painting in oil.

Marxen died on July 28, 1954 in Flensburg on a heart attack, a few days prior to the confrontation with one of the Gestapo men who in 1938 had confiscated his caricatures.  Despite all attempts to get these drawings back they remain lost.

Marxen’s works consists of drawings, caricatures, woodcuts and oil paintings.  The early work can be related to the Art Deco style while his caricatures are mostly influenced by Karl Arnold.

1955 Städtisches Museum Flensburg, Germany
1955 Museum Odense, Denmark
1956 Museum Aalborg, Denmark
1968 Caricatures, Städtisches Museum, Flensburg, Germany
1982 Städtisches Museum, Flensburg, Germany

Museum references:
Städtisches Museum, Flensburg, Germany
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg
Schloss Gottorf, Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kultur, Schleswig, Germany
Münchner Stadtmuseum, Germany
Germanisches National Museum, Nürnberg, Germany

Ulrich Schulte-Wülwer: Herbert Marxen – Ein Flensburger Karikaturist in den letzten Jahren der Weimarer Republik, ed.: Städtisches Museum Flensburg, 1982, no ISBN.
Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, AKLONLINE, Doc-ID: _40446679, no ISBN

Written by his daughter: Dr. Julia Marxen.

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