biography of Max WEBER (1881-1961)

Birth place: Bialystok, Russia

Death place: Great Neck, NY

Addresses: Brooklyn in 1891; NYC, 1909-20; Garden City, Long Island, 1920; Great Neck, Long Island, NY

Profession: Painter, blockprinter, sculptor, writer, teacher

Studied: PIA Sch., with Arthur Dow, 1898-1900; Acad. Julian, Paris with Jean Paul Laurens, 1905-06; Acad. Colarossi, 1906-07; helped organize class under Henri Matisse, 1907-08; again Acad. Colarossi, 1908.

Exhibited: Salon des Ind├ępendants, 1906-07; Salon d'Automne 1907-09; Stieglitz" "291" gallery, 1911 (solo); Newark Mus., 1913 (solo); Montross Gal., 1915 (solo); Corcoran Gal biennials, 1916-61 (12 times; incl. bronze medal, 1941); Soc. Indep. Artists, 1917-19, 1936; AIC, 1928 (gold medal); La Tausca Pearls Comp., 1928, 1946 (prizes); PAFA Ann., 1930-60 (gold medal 1941; prize 1938, 1956); Pepsi-Cola Comp., 1945, 1946 (prizes); AIC, 1928 (med); MoMA, 1930 (retrospective); Santa Barbara Mus. Art, 1947; WMAA, 1949; Walker AC, 1949; PIA Sch., 1959; Newark Mus., 1959; AAAL, 1962; Boston Univ., 1962; Univ. Calif., Santa Barbara, 1968; Salons of Am. Other awards: hon. degree, D.H.L., Brandeis Univ., 1957.

Member: NIAL; Soc. Am. PS&S; Am. Artists Congress (chmn., 1937)

Work: MMA; WMAA; MoMA; NMAA; Jewish Mus., NYC; NGA; Jewish Theological Seminary Am.; Tel-Aviv Mus.; AIC; LACMA; CPLH; Santa Barbara Mus. Art; Wichita Art Mus.; Newark Mus.; Walker AC; Univ. Nebraska; BM; CMA; Phillips Collection; Vassar; Brandeis Univ.

Comments: One of the most important American artists of the early decades of the 20th century, he played a significant role in introducing avant-garde art to America. He returned to NYC from Paris in 1909, having been been a part of the European avant-garde community and having familiarized himself with Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Primitivism, and Expressionism. He produced his first nonobjective paintings and pastels between 1911-14; and in 1915, he extended these experiments to sculpture. In the 1920s Weber's work became less abstract and more representational, and he began exploring Jewish themes, a subject he would return to often throughout the rest of his career. Around 1940, his paintings, both religious and secular, became especially expressionistic. Max Weber was also significant as a writer, having published important statements on modernist aesthetics. His seminal essay, The Fourth Dimension from a Plastic Point of View" appeard in Camera Work in July 1910. Weber's book, Essays on Art (1916) influenced numerous students. Other writings include Primitives (1926) and Cubist Poems (1914). Teaching: Minnesota Normal Sch., Duluth, 1903-05; Clarence White Sch. Photography, NYC, 1914-18; ASL, 1920-.

Sources: WW59; WW47; Lloyd Goodrich, Max Weber (1949); Percy North and Susan Krane, Max Weber: the Cubist Decade, 1910-20 (exh. cat., Brooklyn Mus., 1993) [a review of the exh. by Roberta Tarbell appears in Amerian Art Review, Winter 1993]; Percy North, Max Weber (exh. cat., Jewish Mus., 1982); W. Homer, Avant-Garde Painting and Sculpture in America; A. Davidson, Early American Modernist Painting; Baigell, Dictionary; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

Legals