Maurice Braun, noted Theosophist and landscape painter, is best known as a California Impressionist who “brought Impressionism to [ San Diego] and reshaped its art” (1). His artworks, executed on the East and West coasts, are evidence of his proficiency as an excellent colorist and his Theosophical beliefs based upon a unity of man and nature. Born in Hungary, Braun immigrated to New York with his family at the age of four. He studied at the National Academy of Design from 1897-1902, followed by one year under the tutelage of William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) and a six-month tour of Europe. He built a career in New York as a portrait painter, but soon turned to nature for inspiration. He discovered the joyous color and warm sunshine of Southern California and relocated to San Diego in 1909.
After opening a studio on Point Loma, he founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1912 and served as its director for many years. Braun remained in San Diego until his death in 1941, with the exception of 1922-24. In those years he maintained a studio in Silvermine, Connecticut and spent the summer of 1923 in Old Lyme. His reputation spanned from coast to coast, and he exhibited with the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Macbeth Galleries in New York, the Detroit Museum of Art, the Carnegie Institute, the Corcoran Art Gallery, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Braun cofounded the San Diego Art Guild in 1915 and held membership in several other clubs including the Laguna Beach Art Association, the San Diego Fine Art Association, the California Art Club, the Salmagundi Club, and the Academy of Western Painters.
1. Keith L. Bryant, Culture in the American Southwest ( College Station, Texas: TAMU Press, 2001), 65.