Richard Lorenz (1858 - 1915)

Birth date: 2/9/1858 Death date: 8/3/1915  
Birth location: Voigtstedt, Germany Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Painting , Sculpture 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.


Richard Lorenz
Born 1858 in Voigtstedt, near Niederöblingen and Weimar, Germany
Died 1915 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

While still in his middle teens, Richard Lorenz studied sculpture in Germany. Later he received an art scholarship (endowed by Franz Liszt) to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Weimar, Germany to study drawing. While there, he twice received the school's highest award. 

Lorenz was recruited in Germany to come to America, and in the spring of 1886, he settled in Milwaukee where he was employed by William Wehner’s American Panorama Company.  He became the equestrian specialist and worked on the two versions of the Battle of Atlanta and Jerusalem on the Day of the Crucifixion that the company produced. 

During 1887 and 1888, Lorenz toured Colorado, California, Oregon, Arizona and Texas, spending time sketching San Francisco’s Chinatown and the Monterey coast.  He also spent considerable time with the Texas Rangers. This was the first of many Western trips that provided him with Western scenes for which he has become nationally known. Today, Lorenz is considered one of the foremost painters of Western genre after Frederic Remington. In June of 1892, Lorenz was documented in the Chicago Daily Inter Ocean as working for Reed & Gross in Chicago on the Chicago Fire panorama.

In 1901, Lorenz was one of the founding members of the Society of Milwaukee Artists. He was the first vice-president of the group. In 1913, they changed their name to Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors. Lorenz was also a teacher, instructing many of Wisconsin’s artists at the Wisconsin School of Design (a.k.a. Wisconsin Art Institute), Lorenz School of Art and the Milwaukee Art Students League’s Wisconsin School of Art.

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

Reinhardt Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1904  St. Louis Exhibition, Missouri 
Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Milwaukee Art Society, Wisconsin (also1916) 
1933 Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin 
Milwaukee Art Center, Wisconsin 
1984  Lenz Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
2005 West Bend Art Museum, West Bend, Wisconsin, Painting the American West: Richard Lorenz, 1858-1915

Selected Group Exhibitions

1885  International Exhibition, Antwerp, Belgium 
Berlin, Germany 
1891 Munich, Germany
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois 
Chicago Art Institute, Illinois - American Annual (also 1895, 1897)
Chicago Art Institute, Illinois- American Annual (also 1907-1908)
1901 Paris Salon, France
1904 St. Louis Exposition, Missouri
1914 Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors 1st Annual Exhibition
1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, California
1966 Milwaukee Art Center, Wisconsin, Contemporaries of Lorenz:  Painters of the West
1981 Art History Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,  Society of Milwaukee Artists, 1900-1913
1988 Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin , 100 Years of Wisconsin Art 1888-1988:  A Centennial Celebration
1989 West Bend Gallery of Fine Arts (now known as Museum of Wisconsin Art), 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
1996  Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin: The Early Years
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Instagram icon
  • Flickr icon
  • Youtube icon
  • E-News icon