Max Beckmann (1885-1950)
Hier ist Geist (There is Spirit), 1921
drypoint etching on velin
Image: 13 1/4 x 10 1/16 in. (33.7 x 25.6 cm)
Sheet: 20 x 12 5/8 in. (51 x 32 cm)
Max Beckmann is born on February 12 in Leipzig, Germany.
His father dies.
Enrolls at the Grossherzoglioche Kunstschule, Weimar where he studies with Carl Frithjof Smith.
Travels to Paris, Geneva and Florence. Begins his lifelong habit of keeping a diary.
Moves to Berlin.
Marries fellow art student Minna Tube.
Beckmann’s first solo exhibitions are held at the Kunstverein, Magdeburg and the Grossherzogliches Museum für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Weimar.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, Beckmann volunteers for the army medical corps.
Discharged from the medical corps following a mental breakdown. Settles in Frankfurt.
Printmaking becomes his primary focus. Beckmann will eventually produce 373 prints.
Switches from biblical subjects to subject matter associated with the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit including contemporary allegories and realistic portraits.
His work begins to include more Expressionistic brushwork and brighter colors. At the same time his compositions become less crowded and more naturalistic.
Exhibits with the Neue Sachlichkeit at the Städtisches Kunsthalle, Mannheim but never formally joins the group. He is appointed as a professor at the Städliches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.
The first exhibition of Beckmann’s work is held at J. B. Neumann’s New Art Circle in New York.
A large retrospective of his work is held at the Städtisches Kunsthalle, Mannheim.
Continues teaching in Frankfurt but spends his winters in Paris. Begins using the triptych format.
Following the rise of the Nazis in Germany he is dismissed from his teaching position in Frankfurt and moves to Berlin.
More than 500 works by Beckmann are confiscated from public collections. His work is included in an exhibition of “degenerate art”. One day after the exhibition opens, Beckmann flees Germany for Amsterdam where he will stay for the next ten years.
Curt Valentin’s Buchholz Gallery, New York holds an exhibition of his work.
Travels to Paris and the south of France. Begins teaching at the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, St. Louis.
His first U.S. retrospective is held at the City Art Museum, St. Louis.
Teaches the University of Boulder, Colorado during the summer and at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in the fall. Awarded first prize in the Painting in the United States exhibition at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh.
Dies on December 27 in New York at the age of 66