September 16, 1903|
|Died||November 24, 1972
|Known for||Expressionist painter|
Karl Zerbe (September 16, 1903 – November 24, 1972) was a German-born American painter.
The works of Karl Zerbe are significant because they record "the response of a distinguished artist of basically European sensibility to the physical and cultural scene of the New World".
Karl Zerbe was born in Berlin, Germany. The family lived in Paris, France from 1904–1914, where his father was an executive in an electrical supply concern. In 1914 they moved to Frankfurt, Germany where they lived until 1920. Karl Zerbe studied chemistry in 1920 at the Technische Hochschule, Friedberg. From 1921-1923 he lived in Munich, where he studied painting at the Debschitz School, mainly under Josef Eberz. From 1924-1926 Karl Zerbe worked and traveled in Italy on a fellowship from the City of Munich. In 1932 his oil painting titled: ‘’Herbstgarten’’ (autumnal garden), of 1929, was acquired by the National-Galerie, Berlin; in 1937, the painting was destroyed by the Nazis as "Degenerate art." From 1937- 1955 Karl Zerbe was the head of the Department of Painting, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1939 Karl Zerbe became a U.S. citizen and the same year for the first time he used encaustic. He died in Tallahassee, Florida.
He was grouped together with the Boston painters Jack Levine and Hyman Bloom as a key member of the Boston Expressionist school of painting, and through his teaching influenced a generation of painters, including, among others, David Aronson, Bernard Chaet, Reed Kay, Arthur Polonsky, Jack Kramer, Barbara Swan, and Lois Tarlow.
- 1922: Gurlitt Gallery, Berlin, Germany
- 1926: Georg Caspari Gallery, Munich, Germany; Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany; Osthaus Museum, Hagen, Germany
- 1934: Germanic Museum (now Busch-Reisinger Museum), Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937: Marie Sterner Galleries, New York City
- 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940: Grace Horne Galleries, Boston, Massachusetts
- 1941: Vose Galleries, Boston; Buchholz Gallery, New York City
- 1943: Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts
- 1943, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1952: The Downtown Gallery, New York City
- 1943, 1947: Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
- 1945, 1946: Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
- 1946: Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
- 1948, 1949: Philadelphia Art Alliance, Pennsylvania
- 1948, 1955: Boris Mirski Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
- 1950: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York
- 1951-1952: Retrospective Exhibition circulated by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, traveled to: Baltimore Museum of Art; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire; Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, Clearwater; M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts;
- 1954: The Allan Gallery, New York City
- 1958: Florida State University, Tallahassee; Ringling Brothers Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
- 1958, 1959, 1960: Nordness Gallery, New York City
- 1960: New Arts Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
- 1961-1962: Retrospective Exhibition circulated by The American Federation of Arts, Boston University
Work in public collections
- Addison Gallery of American Art - Andover, Massachusetts
- Albright-Knox Art Gallery - Buffalo, New York
- Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
- New Britain Museum of American Art - New Britain, Connecticut
- Auburn University - Auburn, Alabama
- Baltimore Museum of Art – Baltimore, Maryland
- Birmingham Museum of Art - Birmingham, Alabama
- Brooklyn Museum - New York City, New York
- Butler Institute of American Art - Youngstown, Ohio
- Saint Louis Art Museum - Saint Louis, Missouri
- Colby College Museum of Art - Waterville, Maine
- Cranbrook Academy of Art - Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
- Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit, MichiganI
- Düren Leopold-Hoesch-Museum
- Encyclopædia Britannica Collection
- Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusettss
- Amon Carter Museum - Fort Worth, Texas
- Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Herron School of Art – Indianapolis, Indiana
- Kestner-Museum – Hanover, Germany
- LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts - Tallahassee, Florida
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art – Los Angeles, California
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City, New York
- Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute - Utica, New York
- Rhode Island School of Design Museum - Providence, Rhode Island
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Boston, Massachusetts
- Museum of Modern Art - New York City, New York
- Nationalgaleri, Berlin, Germany (destroyed)
- National Institute of Arts and Letters - New York City, New York
- Newark Museum - Newark, New Jersey
- Oberlin College - Oberlin, Ohio
- Philadelphia Museum of Art – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- The Phillips Collection - Washington, D.C.
- Sarah Lawrence College - Westchester County, New York
- Smith College Museum of Art - Northampton, Massachusetts
- Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany
- Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, Germany
- University of Iowa - Iowa City, Iowa,
- Syracuse University - Syracuse, New York
- Tel-Aviv Museum, Israel
- Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia - Athens, Georgia
- University of Illinois
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minnesota
- Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery - Rochester, New York
- Walker Art Center - Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Whitney Museum of American Art - New York City, New York
- Wichita Art Museum, The Roland P. Murdock Collection - Wichita, Kansas
- Karl Zerbe
- Karl Zerbe by H.W. Janson, American Federation of Arts, New York
- Elke Lauterbach: Sieben Münchner Maler: Eine Ausstellungsgemeinschaft in der Zeit von 1931-1937 - Inhaltsverzeichnis und Einleitung 
- Goodhue, Laura (2005). "Creative Expression: An Imminent Clash as Experienced by Three Artists". eScholarship@BC. Boston College. pp. 47–48.
- Waxing Poetic: Encaustic Art in America during the Twentieth Century,Karl Zerbe
- McQuaid, Cate (27 December 2011). "Boston Expressionists get their due". The Boston Globe.
Another key player was Karl Zerbe...Zerbe taught a generation of artists at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
- Chaet, Bernard (1980). "The Boston Expressionist School: A Painter's Recollections of the Forties". Archives of American Art Journal (The Smithsonian Institution) 20 (1): 29.
In 1963, James Johnson Sweeney, speaking on 'Art Education in the United States,' cited two great European-born artists as the most important influences on American painting of the preceding twenty-five years—Hans Hofmann and Karl Zerbe.
- Bookbinder, Judith (2005). Boston Modern: Figurative Expressionism as Alternative Modernism. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire Press. p. 5. ISBN 9781584654889.
- Smithsonian Institution Research Information System; Archival, Manuscript and Photographic Collections, Karl Zerbe
- Ulrich Thieme; Felix Becker, ed., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler, V 36, Leipzig, 1947, p. 463.
- Frederick S. Wight, Milestones of American Painting in our century, (New York : Chanticleer Press [for the] Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1949.) OCLC 154058045 p. 25, 124, 125.
- Sheldon Cheney, The story of modern art (New York, Viking Press, 1958.) OCLC 685440
- Alan D. Gruskin, Painting in the U.S.A. (Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Co., 1946.) OCLC 1220327 p. 85.
- Philips Collection, The Phillips Collection : a museum of modern art and its sources : catalogue : Washington (New York : Thames and Hudson, 1952.) OCLC 18027945 p. 139, 230.
- Lee Nordness ed., text by Allen Stuart Weller, Art: USA: now (New York, Viking Press, 1963.) OCLC 265650 p. 126-129.
- Edgar Preston Richardson, Painting in America, from 1502 to the present (New York, Crowell, 1965.) OCLC 517571 p. 405. 406.
- Bram Dijkstra, American expressionism: art and social change, 1920-1950, (New York : H.N. Abrams, in association with the Columbus Museum of Art, 2003.) ISBN 0-8109-4231-3
- Judith Bookbinder, Boston modern: figurative expressionism as alternative modernism, (Durham, N.H. : University of New Hampshire Press ; Hanover : University Press of New England, ©2005.) ISBN 1-58465-488-0
- Allgemeine Künstler Lexikon Bio-Bibliographische Index, Band 10, page 727
- Marika Herskovic, American Abstract and Figurative Expressionism: Style Is Timely Art Is Timeless (New York School Press, 2009.) ISBN 978-0-9677994-2-1. p. 248-251
- ART USA NOW Ed. by Lee Nordness;Vol.1, (The Viking Press, Inc., 1963.) pp. 126–129
- Elke Lauterbach: Sieben Münchner Maler: Eine Ausstellungsgemeinschaft in der Zeit von 1931–1937. München 1999. (= Schriften aus dem Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität München, Bd. 70.)
- Günther Graßmann, Malerei und Graphik. Ausstellung zum 85. Geburtstag. Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Ausstellung und Katalog in Zusammenarbeit mit Professor Günther Graßmann, Dr. Inge Feuchtmayr, Marie Stelzer, Garching 1985.
- Karl Zerbe Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries from artcyclopedia.com
- Karl Zerbe paintings from mercurygallery.com
- Figureworks.com/20th Century work at www.figureworks.com
- Elke Lauterbach: Sieben Münchner Maler: Eine Ausstellungsgemeinschaft in der Zeit von 1931-1937 - Inhaltsverzeichnis und Einleitung