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 Richard L. Marwede  (1884 - 1938)

About: Richard L. Marwede
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: urban views-landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Richard Marwede, (American, 1884-1938)

Richard Marwede was born in New York City in 1884 and received his art training at the Art Students’ League.  He showed his work as early as 1916, when he was part of the 29th Annual Exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago with his work Dusk of Day.  Around 1917 Marwede was included in a group exhibition of watercolors at the Whitney Studio Club, a precursor to the Whitney Museum of American Art, along with fellow artists Thomas Donnelly, Richard Lahey and Mary Wesselhoeft.  The artist won a prize at the Arts Alliance of America the following year, and later showed at the Touchstone Gallery.  Marwede was represented by the Powell Gallery, New York, and took part in several of the invitational exhibitions at the National Academy of Design.  Other cities in which he exhibited include Paris, Chicago, Cleveland and elsewhere in the Midwest.

Considerable for the times, Marwede is listed as an independent artist with an income of $18,750 in the 1930 census.  Nonetheless he participated in other artistic design fields.  Describing himself primarily as a painter of urban views and landscapes, Marwede filed for a patent for an ornamental design for cover paper the Hampden Glazed Paper and Card Company of Holyoke, MA which consisted of shaded spheres of various sizes that floated across an indefinite background – a stylized and somewhat avant garde design for the time.  The artist also illustrated the cover for the book The Iceland Fisherman, by Pierre Loti, published in English by Doubleday.  

The young artist traveled extensively, beginning with a trip to France in 1923 with his future wife, Paula Pardee, a pianist.  Later travels included China, which greatly influenced his aesthetic and appeared thematically in his work of that time.  Throughout his life, Marwede created prints through etching and woodblock that capture his belief in symbolic geometric shapes often derived from nature, or from the figure, and exemplified his adventurous spirit.  The artist was not to live into his sunset years however; Paula Marwede died in 1935 at age 47 and Richard Marwede died in 1938 at the age of 54.  

Artist's Affiliations:

The artist was a member of Art Student’s League, New York, and Art Alliance of America.  He worked as a founding member of the Arts Alliance of America, whose board at the time included Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Clarence White.  

The  Artist's Oeuvre:

Richard Marwede created representational work that was both futurist and referential to the past.  He influence was perhaps that of the French paysagistes of the 19th century.  Primary formats include landscape, depictions of café society abroad, and the female forms, sometimes in the context of exotic or natural settings.  Reference: Mantle Fielding’s Directory of American Artists.

Sources:
Information provided by Diane K. Dewey, with cooperation of the artist's family, with personal notes from the artist's materials and records, and with their approval.

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