Mathilde Georgine Schley (1864 - 1941)

Birth date: 1864 Death date: 1941  
Birth location: Horizon, Wisconsin Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: 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.


Mathilde Schley

Born 1864 in Horicon, WI.

Died 1941, in Milwaukee, WI.


The eldest of thirteen children, Mathilde Schley grew up in Horicon, Wisconsin, in what was then largely a German-American bilingual community. She displayed an early talent in drawing and developed an interest in preserving an awareness of her German ethnic heritage for younger generations. The author of numerous articles for German and English language newspapers, she later privately published them in book form, using her own paintings as illustrations.


She lived for brief periods in Kansas, Oak Grove and Watertown, Wisconsin and moved to Milwaukee in 1894. While running a dressmaking business there with her sister, she also studied art with several qualified instructors. She was exposed to the German academic style with instruction from Otto von Ernst, Richard Lorenz, and Alexander Mueller. There is some evidence that she worked in some capacity with Lohr & Heine during the painting of the Jerusalem panoramas. Influenced by her travels abroad to Paris and Germany in the late nineteenth century, she abandoned the dark tones of the early style for a brightly colored impressionistic technique with the palette knife. She was an active member of Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, Salons of America, Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists and the New York Independent Art Society. She held drawing classes in her home in the Schley Apartments on Fifteenth Street in Milwaukee and died there from complications of pneumonia at the age of seventy-six.


Selected Group Exhibitions


1925         Milwaukee Journal Gallery of Wisconsin Art, 4th Quarterly Exhibition

1926         Chicago No Jury Society of America

1926         Buffalo Society of Independent Artists

      1926-30   Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors

      1926-30   Salons of America

      1926-30   Chicago Artists

      1938         Society of Independent Artists

      1982         Milwaukee Art Museum, Reflections on Milwaukee Journal Gallery of

           Wisconsin Art


© 10/23/2007 Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin                                                              6/2/2010



  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Instagram icon
  • Flickr icon
  • Youtube icon
  • E-News icon