Max Weyl

born Muhlen-on-Neckar, Germany 1837-died Washington, DC 1914
Media - 1966.105 - SAAM-1966.105_1 - 2437
William Henry Holmes, Max Weyl, ca. 1875, watercolor and pencil on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum acquisition, 1966.105
Muhlen-on-Neckar, Germany
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • American

Born December 1, 1837, in Mühlen-am-Neckar, Germany. Immigrated with his family to Williamsport, Pa., 1853, where he was an itinerant watch and clock repairer. Lived in Washington, D.C., 1861–1914. Opened a jewelry shop at 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, 1862. Began to paint. Sold first painting to Samuel H. Kauffmann, publisher of the Star, 1870. Devoted fulltime to painting, 1878. First exhibition and sale of landscapes, 1879. In Europe, 1879–80. Visited galleries, studied art in Paris, Munich, Vienna, and Venice. Had a studio with Richard Norris Brooke in Vernon Row at 10th and Pennsylvania, 1882–92; and in the "Barbizon Studio" building, 1892–1903, on 17th and Pennsylvania. Had annual exhibitions and sales at V. G. Fischer Galleries. Retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1907. An Indian Summer Day purchased by friends for the old National Gallery of Art. Died July 6, 1914, in Washington, D.C.

Andrew J. Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800–1915 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1983)

Luce Artist Biography

Max Weyl apprenticed as a watchmaker in Germany, then immigrated to America in 1853. He moved to Washington, D.C., and opened a jeweler’s store on Seventh Street, just around the corner from this museum. He painted images of landscapes and still lifes during his free time and displayed them in the windows of his shop. One day, a trustee from the Corcoran Gallery of Art visited the shop to have his watch repaired and bought a small painting. This gave Weyl the confidence to devote all of his time to painting, and he traveled to Europe to study the work of the old masters. On his return, he settled in Washington and painted images of Georgetown and the parks along the Potomac. Weyl and a few of his friends soon became known as the Washington Landscape school. (Fine Arts Trader Web site, 2005)