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Michael Brenner Portrait

Michael Brenner Portrait

Michael Brenner

Born:
Shavli, Lithuania 1885

Died:
United States 1969

Active in:

  • New York, New York
  • Paris, France

Photo Caption:
Michael Brenner, Self-Portrait, modeled 1940, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Fannie T. Brenner 1980.63.

Photo Caption:
Michael Brenner, Self-Portrait, modeled 1940, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Fannie T. Brenner 1980.63.

Luce Artist Biography

Michael Brenner moved to New York City from Lithuania to study with his older brother Victor, a medal sculptor, and subsequently at the Art Students League. Brenner moved to Paris on the advice of a teacher, and there encountered scores of influential artists and writers including Henri Rousseau, Max Weber, and Juan Gris. He spent three years in Europe acting as an agent for New York’s Washington Square Gallery, which he co-owned with art editor Robert Coady. Brenner rarely exhibited or sold his own work, partly because he believed art should be made for art’s sake, and partly because he was never completely satisfied with his work. His friend, writer Gertrude Stein, once called him the “sculptor who never finished anything.”