Max Weber (American, 1881–1961) was a Jewish-American artist who primarily worked in the Cubism style before transitioning to Jewish themes in later years. Weber was born on April 18, 1891, in the Polish city of Bialystok, which was part of the Russian Empire at the time. When he was just a boy, Weber immigrated to America with his family. At the age of 16, he began to study art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, with Arthur Wesley Dow (American, 1857–1922). Dow's theories regarding art and design, as well as his continued interest in Far Eastern styles of painting, would later heavily influence the development of Weber's artistic style.

After graduating, Weber relocated to Virginia to accept a teaching position. Eventually, he also relocated to Minnesota for the purpose of teaching. After saving enough money, Weber traveled to Paris in 1905. For a period of time, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. The inability to draw from live models soon became too constricting, and Weber left Paris. He also attended the Académie Colarossi. Throughout 1906 and 1907, Weber exhibited his works at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d'Automne. During his time in Paris, Weber became acquainted with several well-known Modernist artists, including Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Matisse (French, 1869–1964), Henri Rousseau (French, 1844–1910), and others associated with the School of Paris.

As the result of financial difficulties, Weber returned to America in 1909. Once home, he began to tour numerous galleries and became acquainted with Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946), an advocate of the Modernist movement. Through Stieglitz's financial support, Weber was able to continue his work. His work during this time reflected flattened spaces and broad brushstrokes. Following his return to America, Weber worked at introducing Cubism in America.

Today, the artist is considered to be one of the foremost American Cubists. In 1910, he participated in the Younger American Painters show. He also exhibited his works at numerous one-man shows in Stieglitz's New York Gallery, 291. Until 1919, Weber's works were primarily restricted to a Cubist-Futurist style. After World War I, religious and spiritual themes began to emerge in his works. During the 1930s, Weber began to introduce lyrical portrayals of individuals from Eastern Europe. He also began to experiment with color, space, and lines. Weber is remembered for his ability to blend American urban subjects with European modernism.

Timeline

1881
Born: in Byalostol, Russia
1891
Moved to the U.S. with his parents, settling in Brooklyn, NY
1897
Graduated from Boys' High School, Brooklyn, NY
1897–1900
Studied at Pratt Institute under Wesley Dow, New York, NY
1900–1905
Taught drawing and painting at public schools in Virginia and Michigan
1905
Moved to Paris, France and studied at the Julian Academy under Jean Paul Laurens
1909
Returned to New York, NY
1917
Became director of the Society of Independent Artists, New York, NY
1914–1918
Lectured on history and appreciation of art at the White School of Photography, New York, NY
1920–1921
Taught at the art students' League, New York, NY
1926
Primitives published. Taught at the Art Students' League again
1928
Received Potter Palmer Gold Medal, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1931
Guest Teacher at University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN
1937
National chairman, American Artists' Congress (organization of artists against Fascism)
1938–1940
Honorary national chairman, American Artists' Congress
1941
Awarded the Temple Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Ada s. Garrett Prize, Art Institute of Chicago
1945
Awarded Second Prize, Pepsi-Cola Exhibition, New York, NY
1951
Guest teacher, Humanities Department, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN
1955
Elected member of The National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
1956
Awarded Lippincott Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA
1958
Received honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, New York, NY
1959
Life Fellow, National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
1961
Dies: in Great Neck, NY

Exhibitions

2010
Max Weber: Music, Art and Dance: Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture and Prints, Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2008
Max Weber: Paintings from the 1930s, 40s and 50s" Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2000
Max Weber's Modern Vision, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
Max Weber, Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY; Santa Fe, NM (solo)
1991
Max Weber: The Cubist Decade, 1910–1920, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
1985
The Circle of Montparnasse: Jewish Artists in Paris, 1905–1945, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY (solo)
1982
Max Weber: American Modern, The Jewish MuseumJewish Museum, New York, NY (solo)
1980
National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, DC (solo)
1975
All Media Exhibition, 1907–1956, Forum Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1969–1972
Bernard Danenberg Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1968
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, San Diego, CA (solo)
1966
Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (solo)
1962
National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY (solo)
Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
1959
Pratt Institute, New York, NY (solo)
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ (solo)
1958
Retrospective, The Downtown Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1957
Retrospective, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (solo)
1956
Retrospective, Jewish Museum, New York, NY (solo)
1954
25th Anniversary Exhibition, MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1952–1953
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Abstract Art in America, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, , New York, NY
1950–1951
25th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
Abstract Art in America, MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Saõ Paulo Biennial, Saõ Paolo, Brazil
Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)
1949
Retrospective, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
1947
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA (solo)
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (solo)
1943
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (solo)
The Carnegie Institute, New York, NY (solo)
1942
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (solo)
Paul Rosenberg & Co, New York, NY
1941
Associated American Artists Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1937
JB Neumann Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1935
JB Neumann Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1930
Retrospective, MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
JB Neumann Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1929
Paintings by Nineteen Living Americans, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1928
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1927–1928
JB Neumann Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1924–1925
JB Neumann Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1924
Galerie Bernhiem-Jeune, Paris, France
1923
Montross Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1916
Post Exposition, Panama Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, CA
1915
Ehrich Galleries, New York, NY
Montross Gallery, New York, NY
1913
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (solo)
1912
Murray Hill Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1911
291 Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1910
Younger American Painters, 291 Gallery, New York, NY
1909
Haas Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1906–1908
Salon des Independents, Paris, France
Salon d'Automne, Paris, France

Literature

1996
North, P. . Max Weber: Max Weber's women. New York: Forum Gallery, 1996
1991
North, P. Max Weber: the cubist decade, 1910-1920. Atlanta: High Museum of Art, 1991
1980
Rubenstein, D.R. Max Weber: a catalogue raisonné of his graphic work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980
1975
Werner, A. Max Weber. New York: Abrams, 1975