Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (1845 - 1921)

Birth date: 3/25/1845 Death date: 8/27/1921  
Birth location: Leipzig, Germany Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Drawing , Graphic Art , 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

1895,  knighted as a member of the Milwaukee Schlaraffia, named Ritter Wippchen.  Painted walls of  the "Badger Castle" the Milwaukia empire of Schlaraffia, some of which are still hanging tday (2011). Entrance Hall, Heine coat of arms with a self-portrait; ceremony hall,  back wall, dominated by a huge oil painting of the "Charles Bridge of Prague" and another allegoric figure painting of the Schlaraffia; basement. a series of ten watercolors showing the way of the Schlaraffia from the status of a pilgrim until becoming a knight.
2010: received Wisconsin Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award


Friedrich Wilhelm Heine
Born 1845 in Leipzig, Germany
Died 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Friedrich Wilhelm Heine spent the first forty years of his life in Germany. At the age of fourteen he was a copper and steel engraver's apprentice and later attended the Leipzig and Weimar Academies in Germany, working as a book illustrator and designer from 1861 to 1866.

He was a war correspondent and sketch artist with the Prussian Army in Austria and a field artist in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Because of his reputation as a war artist in Germany, Heine was invited to come to Milwaukee in 1885 to supervise the compositions of the paintings of the American Panorama Company at 628 Wells Street.  He was one of about twenty German artists commissioned to paint Storming of Missionary Ridge / Battle of Chattanooga and Battle of Atlanta. 

In 1887, August Lohr and Friedrich Heine purchased the Wells Street studio from the American Panorama Company and formed the Lohr and Heine panorama company. Subsequently they created the panorama Jerusalem on the Day of the Crucifixion. In 1888 Lohr, Heine, Imre Boos and Paul Zabel formed the Milwaukee Panorama Co and produced Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. At least eight panorama paintings were produced at the Wells street studio.

In 1888, he opened the Heine School of Art, a watercolor and etching studio, which featured costumed models for the students. The school was located in Milwaukee's Iron Block Building, a favorite spot of local artists. After the Spanish American War (1895-1898) Heine, Lohr, Peter, Rohrbeck and Biberstein went to San Francisco in 1998 to paint the panorama Battle of Manila Bay.

In 1900, he and another artist, George Peter, went to Jerusalem to sketch church interiors for a series of murals to be shown at the 1904 World’s Fair, St. Louis Exposition. 

Throughout 1908 Heine traveled to Door County, Wisconsin and Muir Woods California, many watercolor paintings were the result of these trips. Heine was one of the founding members of the Society of Milwaukee Artists, now known as Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors. His early works demonstrated a well-defined brush stroke and a meticulous concern for detail. His later works involved a broader and less defined form and tonalist qualities.

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1921 Watercolors, American landscape scenes at the local history museum in Leipzig, Germany

Selected Group Exhibitions

Early annuals of Society of Milwaukee Artists
Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors Exhibition 
Milwaukee Art Institute,Wisconsin, The Works of Wisconsin Artists and Crafters 
1981  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Society of Milwaukee Artists 1900-1913 
West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now known as Museum of Wisconsin Art), West Bend, Wisconsin, German Academic Painters in Wisconsin 
1992  West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now known as Museum of Wisconsin Art), West Bend, Wisconsin Early Wisconsin Ambiance:  Environments & Landscapes by Wisconsin's Early Artists 1880-1940 
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin:  The Early Years 
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