Max Weber

(1881 - 1961)

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On December 21, 1908, Max Weber, a twenty-seven-year-old Russian-born naturalized American, left Paris to return to New York where he would profoundly affect the course of American art as a painter, printmaker, sculptor, poet, essayist, and teacher. Henri “le Douanier” Rousseau, the visionary genius of French modernism, accompanied him to the Gare St. Lazare and called out to his departing friend, “N’oubliez pas la nature, Weber.” As Rousseau advised, Weber did not forget nature, and the natural world informed his work throughout his impressive sixty-year career. Best known today for his monumental cubist and futurist images of Manhattan from the 1910s, Weber redefined traditional subjects of figures, still life, and landscape to reflect his twentieth-century sensibility and touched on virtually every phase of modernism prior to his death in 1961.