Posted by Larry
Maurice Braun was born on October 1, 1877 in Nagy Bittse, which then, was within the boundaries of Hungary and now is a resort in Czechoslovakia. At the age of four the Braun family migrated to the US and settled in New York City.
As a young man Maurice Braun rejected a career as a jeweler and instead opted to become a painter. From 1897 to 1900 his professional studies took him to the National Academy of Fine Arts studying in the French academic tradition under Francis C. Jones, George W. Maynard and Edgar M. Ward. Following his training at the academy, in 1901 Braun studied for one year with the famous American painter William Merritt Chase.
Having been established in New York as a figure and portrait painter, in 1909 he left for California to escape the influence of his fellow artists. California's incredible landscape proved to be an inspiration, he reveled in the color and forms of the region masterfully balancing the challenges of the intense light and color with a strong sense of composition. His landscapes reflect a deep respect and appreciation for nature.
Braun became an integral figure of the Southern California landscape school along with his contemporaries Charles Reiffel, Charles A. Fries, Leon Bonnet and Elliot Torrey. He maintained studios in San Diego, California and Old Lyme, Connecticut.
He won the Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Design in 1900 and later the gold medal at the Panama-California Exposition, San Diego in 1915,1916. His paintings can be found in the Houston Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
Laguna Beach Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Art.
He was considered by many to be San Diego's most famous of early painters. Captivated by San Diego throughout his career, Maurice Braun died in his beloved city on November 7, 1941.
The author of this biography is an active collector of paintings by Maurice Braun and other early California artists. He can be reached by email, Brentemail@aol.com