Louis Mayer

Year inducted: 2006

Louis Mayer was the prototypical first generation, Wisconsin-born artist, and one who was an influence and who made a difference in the region. He began studies with Wisconsin immigrant artists, Richard Lorenz and Otto von Ernst, at the Wisconsin Art Institute. He continued studies in Germany at the Weimar Art School, the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, and Julian Academy in Paris. In Milwaukee, Louis was to be one of the most influential artists in the community. He was perhaps the primary reason for the founding of the Society of Milwaukee Artists in the year 1900, which was to be renamed Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors in 1913. He was also a prime mover in the purchase of a building that was to become the Milwaukee Art Society’s gallery in the 400 block of Milwaukee’s Jefferson Street. He was a writer and art historian. His awards included a Silver Medal for oil paintings at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, though he was to become nationally known as a sculptor. Louis traveled extensively and moved to New York in 1913, living in Fishkill, about fifty miles from New York City on an estate he named “Joyous Mountain”. His sculptural works include hundreds of busts and bas reliefs of historical figures, such as his friend Albert Schweitzer, which are scattered in public and private collections around the United States.

Works by Louis Mayer