Conrad W. Heyd (1839 - 1912)

Birth date: 1839 Death date: 1912  
Birth location: Bavaria, Germany Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Painting Web site:
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Biographical Brief

Birthdate, 5/26/1839.
Deathdate, 7/30/1912.


Conrad Heyd

Born 1839 in Bavaria Germany

Died 1912 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Conrad Heyd arrived in New York City from Germany around 1860.  He was basically a self-taught artist except for his association with other artists in New York. During the Civil War he painted a number of high ranking military officers while serving in the Union Army. In New York he painted porcelain miniatures and did portraits in both oil and watercolor; he also hand-tinted photographs.

He came to Milwaukee in 1868, establishing a studio in the Iron Block Building, a frequent choice of Milwaukee artists. His contemporaries considered him the foremost portrait painter in Milwaukee because of the technical finish of his portraits and because of his ability to capture an almost photographic likeness of his subjects.

He left Milwaukee for Prairie du Chien during the 1870s, but returned in 1880 to concentrate on portraits. He also began to do landscapes of the Milwaukee area.  There is some evidence that he painted with the panorama painters in Milwaukee shortly after the American Panorama Company was formed in 1885. In 1901 he was one of the founding members of the Society of Milwaukee Artists, later renamed the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors.  Among his Milwaukee clients was the banker Alexander Mitchell.  Several of his portraits and landscapes are now in the collections of the Milwaukee County Historical Society and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and the West Bend Art Museum.

Selected Group Exhibitions

1885    Milwaukee Industrial Expositions

1992    West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now known as West Bend Art Museum), Wisconsin, Early Wisconsin Ambiance: Environments & Landscapes by Wisconsin's Early Artists 1880-1940

1996    Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years

© 10/23/2006 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                   April 13, 2010

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