Maurice Braun was born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary, October, 1877, to Ferdinand and Charlotte Braun. His family moved to New York City when Maurice was four years old. At fourteen he was apprenticed to a jeweler, but Maurice eventually convinced his parents to let him pursue art instead.
In 1897 he began studying at the National Academy of Fine Arts with Francis Jones, George Maynard, and Edgar Ward. Maurice focused on Portrait and still Life painting. He then went on to study with William Merritt Chase. By 1909 Maurice had established himself as a Portrait artist in New York. Although successful he began to find portraiture too confining artistically. In 1910 Maurice decided to head to California settling in San Diego.
In San Diego Maurice opened the Fine Art Academy where he offered classes in drawing, design, painting and outdoor sketching. Maurice continued to exhibit back east where he received favorable reviews for his California Scenes. In 1915 and 1916 he won gold medals at both World Fairs. Maurice also held one man shows in California and New York
In California Maurice became interested in Theosophical Society. A deeply philosophical man, landscape painting for Maurice was about much more than an image being created. He sought a deeper universal connection and expression. The Society affected his ideas on his life, his painting and ultimately his style.
In 1919 Maurice married Hazel Boyer. The 1920’s proved to be a successful time for the artist. He traveled throughout the United States painting everywhere he went and continued to have one man shows of his work on both coasts and in the Midwest.
The depression saw little change in the artist’s routine although sales dropped. To augment his loss of income he taught art at local San Diego Schools and in his studio. Maurice Braun died in 1941 from a heart attack.
Four Early San Diego Landscape PaintersMartin E. Petersen
San Diego Museum of Art 1991
William H. Gerdts
Abbeville Press 1984
Let us remember that method style, subject and all the rest are merely the clothing in which the thing itself Art is enclosed.~Maurice Braun
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