Carl Robert Holty (1900 - 1973)

Birth date: 6/21/1900 Death date: 1973  
Birth location: Frieburg, Germany Death location: New York, New York  
Media: Graphic Art , Painting Web site:
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Biographical Brief

Attended Milwaukee University High School
Attended State Normal School of Art
Studied under one of the Panorama Artists in Milwaukee
1919, attended Marquette University until he went into the Student's Army Training Corps, World War I and later that year spent the summer at the Chicago Art Institute School in Saugatuck, Minnesota
1920, National Academy, New York under Francis Jones
2010 Recipient of one of the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards


Carl Robert Holty
Born 1900 in Freiburg, Germany
Died 1973 in New York
Carl Holty grew up in Northern Wisconsin where his father was a country doctor.  After his family moved to Milwaukee, Holty studied at Marquette University, the Art Institute of Chicago and trained at Milwaukee State Normal School. (In 1927 it became the Milwaukee State Teachers College).
By 1921, Holty was in New York at the National Academy of Design.  In 1925-26, he took classes at the Hans Hofmann School and studied at the Munich Academy.  Holty then taught in Paris from 1930-32.  He returned to the United States in 1934 and was influenced by Gustave Moeller.  Holty lived and taught mainly in New York, but often returned to Milwaukee where he participated in exhibitions. He was also a member of the Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors.
In 1961, Holty was the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee artist-in-residence.  He co-authored with Romare Bearden The Painter’s Mind published in 1969.
Holty was Milwaukee’s first abstract painter to become internationally known.  His influence on the evolution of abstract art in the United States is extensive. Andrew Stevens stated in the 1995 150 Years of Wisconsin Print Making catalogue, “Holty’s zeal for non-objective art was more closely identified with the younger group of American painters in the East. His artworks including his prints are among the first by a Wisconsin artist to come to grips with the tide of abstract art that spread from Europe to America at the beginning of the 20th century.”

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

Milwaukee Art Institute, one-man exhibition, Modern Paintings by Carl Holty 
1980 - 81   
Milwaukee Art Museum, Carl Holty: The World Seen and Sensed 

Selected Group Exhibitions

1924-31 Milwaukee Journal Gallery of Wisconsin Art
1935  Milwaukee Art Institute, Hiler - Holty Exhibition 
1938  “Nierendorf”, New York City 
1939 New York World’s Fair and Art Institute of Chicago 
1944 -45  The Whitney Museum of American Art 
1944 & 48 The Kootz Gallery, New York City 
1989 - 90 Charles Allis Art Museum - Collection of Robert Brue
1997 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Celebration 100: A Century of  Alumni Art                   
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