Maurice Braun Biography

Maurice Braun was one of the most respected of California’s impressionist painters, and is credited as one of San Diego’s most formative artists. His work was exhibited throughout the United States during his career, for which he received national acclaim.

Born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary on Oct. 1, 1877. Braun immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1881 and settled in NYC. He began drawing at age three and in his early teens was apprenticed to a jeweler. In 1897 he began a five year study period at the NAD followed by one year with Wm M. Chase. He 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. Braun remained in San Diego except for the years 1922-24 when he maintained a studio in Silvermine, CT. His Impressionist paintings of the Southwest desert, southern California hills, and High Sierra 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 Nov. 7, 1941. Member: San Diego Theosophical Society; Laguna Beach AA; San Diego FA Ass'n; Calif. Art Club; Academy of Western Painters; San Diego Art Guild (cofounder, 1915); San Diego Contemporary Artists (cofounder, 1929); Salmagundi Club (NY). Exh: NAD, 1900 (prize), 1911-15; Carnegie Inst., 1911-15; Daniell Gallery (LA), 1911; Kanst Gallery (LA), 1914-19; PPIE, 1915; Panama-Calif. Expo (San Diego), 1915-16 (gold medals); Babcock Gallery (NYC), 1918; LACMA, 1918, 1920 (solos); Ten Painters Club (LA), 1919; Painters of the West (LA), 1924; San Diego FA Gallery, 1928 (solo); GGIE, 1939; De Young Museum, 1954 (retrospective). In: San Diego Museum; LACMA; Bloomington (IL) AA; Orange County (CA) Museum; Houston Museum; Riverside and San Bernardino Municipal Collections; Phoenix Municipal Collection; Women's Athletic Club (LA); Irvine (CA) Museum; Theosophy Center (Pasadena); Commercial Club (LA).

Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Los Angeles Times, 11-15-1914; Impressionism, The California View; California Impressionism (Wm. Gerdts & Will South); California Design, 1910; Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); 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, Mantle); Artists of the American West (Samuels); Plein Air Painters (Ruth Westphal); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); So. California Artists,1890-1940.