Maurice Braun

Maurice Braun

1877-1941
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Considered one of California’s preeminent impressionists, Maurice Braun spent his childhood in New York City, having moved there with his family in 1881. He attended the National Academy of Design from 1897 to 1900; he then spent a year studying with William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), followed by a year of studying the work of the old masters in Eastern Europe.
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Returning to New York City, Braun began a successful career as a portrait painter but also developed an interest in landscape painting. He moved to San Diego in 1909, a decision made in part by the fact that the Theosophical Society, whose tenets he espoused, had recently established an international center there. Braun credited Theosophy for sharpening his insight into nature. A noted teacher, Braun founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1910. He visited the East Coast in 1921, where he opened studios in New York City and at Silvermine and Old Lyme in Connecticut. Thereafter, he would travel to the East Coast on an annual basis. Braun’s lifelong attention to the natural sciences—including geology and botany—is evident in his truthful rendition of nature. Commenting on landscape painting, Braun stated: “Landscape should not be taken too literally. It is what we visualize and the interpretation we give, the fantasy of our mind that counts.”

Landscape (probably Connecticut)
Oil on canvas, c. 1910
40 x 50 inches
Promised gift of Nancy Dustin Wall Moure
PG.2004.009.005
Sunlit Spaces
Oil on canvas, c. 1925
25 x 30 inches
Gift of Dr. Richard and Lucie Smith
1988.001