Carl von Marr (1858 - 1936)

Birth date: 2/14/1858 Death date: 7/10/1936  
Birth location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Death location: Munich, Germany  
Media: Drawing , Illustration , Painting Web site:
Comprehensive (file rating) - Major Wisconsin artist file that includes comprehensive documentation on artist's life that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biographical Brief

2004, one of the recipients of the WI Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Von is a honorary title given to Carl Marr for his accomplishments in art especially "The Flagellants" painting.


Carl von Marr
Born 1858 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died 1936 in Munich, Germany

Carl Marr was born in Milwaukee in 1858 and trained under the tutelage of Wisconsin’s most noted artist of the time, Henry Vianden.  In 1875, at the age of 17, Marr left Milwaukee to study in Germany.  The young artist first attended the Royal Academy in Weimar.  After finishing some classes, he transferred to the Royal Academy in Berlin, and then to the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Munich, where he entered the painting class of Otto Seitz in October 1877.  He later studied with Professors Max and Lindenschmidt.  His successful student career climaxed when he won the sketch competition at the Academy in January 1880.

That spring he returned to Milwaukee, where he found that he could not make a living as an artist.  In the fall of 1881, he worked briefly for the publisher of Harpers Magazine in Boston to earn passage back to Germany.  In 1882 he was back in Munich where he remained for the rest of his life, except for frequent periodic visits to the United States for exhibitions, commissions and family visits.  There is even some evidence that he may have worked with the artists of the American Panorama Studio on some of these visits.

Marr’s magnum opus was the huge painting The Flagellants painted in 1889.  This historical painting was a sensational success both in Germany and in this country, being finally purchased and given to the City of Milwaukee; it is now on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.  It was for his paintings, teaching activities, curation of several significant international exhibitions and his affiliation with European art groups that Marr received great acclaim.  His painting styles included academic realism, impressionism, symbolism and decorative arts.  He was appointed professor of the Munich Academy in 1893, and he taught most of the Americans who enrolled after that date, one of the most notable being Adam Emory Albright.  In 1919 he assumed the directorship of the Academy, and served in other principal art organizations of that city.  Among many other official honors, Carl von Marr was raised to nobility in 1909 and was given royal status by three separate European royal houses.  The largest collection of the artist’s work is on permanent display at the  Museum of Wisconsin Art (formerly known as the West Bend Gallery of Fine Art and the West Bend Art Museum).

Selected Group Exhibitions

International Exhibition, Berlin, Germany - Silver Medal / Great Silver Medal  
International Exhibition, Munich, Germany - Great Silver Medal
Prize Fund Exhibition, New York, NY - Gold Medal
International Exhibition, Munich, Germany - Gold Medal
1890,1991, 1996
International Exhibition, Berlin, Germany - Gold Medal
Exhibition of Scholars, Munich, Germany - Gold Medal for portraiture
International Exhibition of Fine Arts, Madrid, Spain - First Prize
German Exhibition, Dresden - Large Gold Plaque
Salzburger Art Exhibition, Salzburg, Austria - Gold Medal
Exhibition of the Hungarian National Association of Artists, Budapest, Hungary
5th & 6th Exposition of International Art, Barcelona, Spain - Medal First Class
International Exposition of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
American Expatriate Painters of the Late Nineteenth Century, The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio and Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Munich and American Realism in the 19th Century, E. B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, California
American Imagination and Symbolist Painting, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, New York
American Imagination and Symbolist Painting, Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
American Portraiture in the Grand Manner 1720 - 1920 , Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
100 Years of Wisconsin Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin, 1888 Frederick Layton and His World, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
Zeichnungen 1400 - 1900, Galerie Siegfried Billesberger, Munich
Early Art Ambiance:  Environments & Landscapes by Wisconsin's Early Artists, 1880 - 1940, West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now known as West Bend Art Museum), West Bend, Wisconsin


Revisiting the White City:  American Painting and Sculpture at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, Museum of American Art / National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Collecting the Art of Wisconsin:  The Early Years, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin
Vice Versa - German Artists in America and American Artists in Germany , German Historisches Museum, Berlin
Secession 1892-1914, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, germany
200 Jahre Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Munchen, Haus der Kunst - Himmer Verlag Gmbh Munchen

Selected Publications Since 1977

DerLeibl - Kreis und die Reine Malerei.  Munchen:  Rosenheimer Verlagshaus
1986 Carl Von Marr German-American Artist, West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now Museum of Wisconsin Art
1900 Art Across America, Two Centuries of Regional Painting, Gerts, William.  1710-1920, vol. 2.  New York:  Abbeville Press
1996 Vice Versa: German Artists in America and American Artists in Germany 1813 - 1913, Bott, Katharina & Gerhard, editors. .  Berlin: Deutsches Historisches Museum

Selected Awards

1902 The Royal Order of Merit of St. Michael Third Class bestowed by Prince Regent  Luitpold
1907 Knighted with the Prussian Order of the  Crown III by Kaiser Wilhelm at Berlin
1909 Royal Cross of a Knight, merit decoration of the Bavarian Crown by Prince Regent  Luitpold
Decoration of the Order of the Red Eagle and privileged to use the title "von" by Kaiser Wilhelm of  Prussia  
Knighted with the Commendatore Cross of the Royal Order by King Victor Emanuel of Italy
Awarded the Order of St. Michael's  Second Class by His Royal Highness, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria
Appointed the President of the "Kunstlergenossenschaft" (Art Society) and the "Glass Palace" exhibitions, Munich
1917 Awarded the Title of Royal "Geheimer Hofrat" - Privy Councilor, Bavaria
2004 Recipient of one of the Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Awards (The WI Visual Art Hall of Fame)

Wisconsin Affiliations

Wisconsin Art Organizations

No art organizations were found.

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