Oil Paintings, American and European, by King Art

Portrait of Young Lady: George Raab

Portrait of Young Lady: George Raab


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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: N. America: American: Pre 1940: Item # 1280746

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George Raab, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 1866-1943. Raab began studies under Richard Lorenz at the Wisconsin School of Design. Raab was studying in Europe between 1891 and 1898, when his name did not appear in the Milwaukee city directories. He was, in fact, at the Weimar Art School under the Norwegian-born painter Carl Frithjof Smith (1859-1917) and reportedly in the Académie Colarossi in Paris, receiving instruction from Gustave Courtois. The combination of Courtois’ academic technique, the Munich style, American tonalism, and developments of French impressionism, as well as Art Nouveau, influenced Raab. An undated still-life features cloisonnisme techniques of Gauguin or Emile Bernard. Raab is closely identified with impressionism. Raab toured Italy in 1897, when Symbolism was prominent. As in France, there was a wealth of aesthetic activity. Raab was part of a period of intense cultural experimentation. Most likely, Raab would have visited the great museums to study old masters, whose destruction the Italian futurists would soon be urging.In Wisconsin in 1899, Raab became one of the founding members of the Society of Milwaukee Artists (1900). The group held exhibitions in the Milwaukee starting in 1901. Raab taught at the Milwaukee Art Students League and at the Wisconsin School of Art, and was named curator of the Layton Art Gallery in 1902. He became director of the Art Institute and Art School in Springfield, Illinois but soon left to direct the Decatur (Illinois) Art Institute. Raab later he became director of the School of Fine Arts at Millikin University, also in Decatur. He returned to Milwaukee in 1937. Besides painting, Raab executed outstanding block prints and sculptural reliefs. In the 1930s, Raab reflected Wisconsin regionalism. This versatile artist was an important educator and he was influential within his own local area. He died in Milwaukee on 24 September 1943.Pulication include: Lidtke, Thomas and Peter C. Merrill. George Raab: Prominence in 19th Century Regional Art. Traveling exh. cat. West Bend, WI: West Bend Art Museum, 1994; Merrill, Peter C. German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary. Madison, WI: Friends of the Max Kade Institute, 1997, pp. 101-104.