Maurice Braun (1877-1941)
Born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary on October 1, 1877, Maurice Braun immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1881 and settled in New York City. He began drawing at age three, and in 1897 he began a five year study period at the National Academy of Design, followed by one year with William Merritt Chase. Braun was an established portrait and figure painter in New York before moving to San Diego in 1910. After opening a studio on Point Loma, he founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1912 and served as its director for many years. His Impressionist paintings of the Southwest desert, Southern California hills, and High Sierras brought him great national acclaim. At the end of his career he specialized in still lifes of flowers and oriental objets d'art. An ardent follower of Theosophy, their teachings of the unity of nature and man is evident in his work. Braun died in San Diego on November 7, 1941.
Member: California Art Club; San Diego Theosophical Society; Laguna Beach Art Association; San Diego Fine Art Association; Academy of Western Painters; San Diego Art Guild (cofounder, 1915); San Diego Contemporary Artists (cofounder, 1929); Salmagundi Club, New York.
Exhibited: National Academy of Design, 1900 (prize), 1911-15; Carnegie Institute, 1911-15; Daniell Gallery, Los Angeles, 1911; Kanst Gallery, Los Angeles, 1914-19; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915; Panama-California Exposition, San Diego, 1915-16 (gold medals); Babcock Gallery, New York, 1918; Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art, 1918, 1920 (solos); Ten Painters Club, Los Angeles, 1919; Painters of the West, Los Angeles, 1924; San Diego Fine Art Gallery, 1928 (solo); Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; de Young Museum, 1954 (retrospective).
Works held: San Diego Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Bloomington Art Association, Illinois; Orange County Museum of Art; Houston Museum; Riverside and San Bernardino Municipal Collections; Phoenix Municipal Collection; Women's Athletic Club, Los Angeles; Irvine Museum; Theosophy Center, Pasadena; Commercial Club, Los Angeles.
Bibliography: Artists in California: 1786-1940, Edan Milton Hughes; Emil Kosa Jr., Gordon T. McClelland; Southern California Artists, Nancy Moure; Los Angeles Times, 11-15-1914; California Impressionism, William Gerdts and Will South; California Design, 1910; Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Bénézit; Art in California, R. L. Bernier, 1916; American Art Annual 1919-33; Southwest Magazine, March 1924; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Fielding and Mantle; Artists of the American West, Samuels; Plein Air Painters, Ruth Westphal; Artists of the American West, Doris Dawdy.