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 Josef Scharl  (1896 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: New York / Germany      Known for: portrait, landscape paintings, illustrations

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Ad Code: 3
Josef Scharl
from Auction House Records.
Misshandelte Dirne
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Josef Scharl was born in Munich, Germany in 1896.  He was the second child from a family of 16.

At the Munich School of Painters, from 1910 to 1915, Scharl studied decoration, painting and restoration.  In 1915, he was drafted to military service.  With temporary paralysis of his right arm and other war injuries, Scharl spent the last year of the war in hospitals. 

Scharl enrolled at the Kunstakademie, in 1919, after his return from the war.  He began working as an independent artist in 1921.  One year later he married Magdalena Gruber.

Joining the artist groups "Munich Secession" and "Die Juryfreien" Scharl successfully participated in their exhibitions.  Scharl was awarded the prestigious Rome Prize in 1930 allowing him to  travel through Italy and France during 1930 and 1932.

Scharl was banned from painting due to Nazis power in 1933.  However, he continued to have solo exhibits at the gallery Karl Nierendorf.  Scharl's works were included in a "degenerate" art exhibition during 1935 in Nuremberg.

With an invitation to participate in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Scharl emigrated to the United States.  He had met Albert Einstein, in Berlin.  Einstein helped Scharl organize various exhibition projects and supported him financially. Scharl painted portraits of Einstein while visiting him in Princeton several times.

The years 1944 to 1946 were the peak of Scharl's success in the United States.  Scharl won the order of "Pantheon Books" to illustrate the Brother Grimm's Fairy Tales.  Due to the fairy tale book ‘s commercial success, further orders followed.

In 1952, Scharl received his citizenship in the United States of America.  That same year he traveled to Switzerland to take part in exhibitions.  in 1953, Scharl declined an offer to teach in Munich and returned to the US.

Due to a heart attack, Scharl died in New York, 1954.

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Biography from Auctionata:
Josef Scharl was born in Munich and began an education as a decoration painter in 1910 at the Malerschule in Munich.  He entered the war service in 1915 and could only continue his artistic education after the war was over.  He went to the academy in Munich and studied under Heinrich von Zügel und Angelo Jank but left the academy early again.  He was a member of the Munich Secession from 1925 to 1928.  A scholarship enabled him a longer stay in Paris where he got to know late Impressionism.  Back in Germany, he was confronted with the National Socialists’ culture politics; his financial situation worsened and finally he was forbidden to paint.  Nonetheless, the gallery Neumann-Nierendorf held a solo exhibition of his works in 1933 and another one in 1935 – while in the same year some of his paintings were shown in the exhibition ‘Entartete Kunst’ (‘degenerate art’) in Nuremberg.  When he was invited to take part in an international exhibition in the MOMA in New York together with Heckel, Beckmann, Hofer and Scholz, Scharl’s wish to emigrate in the US was reinforced and he did so in 1938.

In New York he was supported by Nierendorf and also by Albert Einstein with whom he was on friendly terms.  Due to this early emigration, Scharl is less known today in Germany than some of his fellow expressionist.  Thanks to the tireless effort of the Nierendorf Gallery, this has began to change during the last years.  Works by Josef Scharl are held by the collections of the City Gallery Munich, the National Gallery Munich, the City Gallery Nuremberg and at the German Academy Rome.

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