Hans Meyboden

Verden/Aller 1901 - Freiburg im Breisgau 1965

Hans Meyboden was born in Verden on the Aller on 20 February 1901. In his youth Hans Meyboden already spent much of his spare time in the Kunsthalle in Bremen copying the old masters "to learn all their tricks". He was encouraged by the director of the Kunsthalle Emil Waldman who had noticed the boy's keen interest. Even though his father wanted him to study law or theology Hans Meyboden insisted on his interest in art.
Emil Waldmann arranged a meeting with members of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg who recommended that he should go to Dresden to attend Oskar Kokoschka's painting class. His encounter with Oskar Kokoschka meant a way out of the bourgeois life and a key to a new life. Trips to the USA, the Harz Mountains and repeatedly to the North Sea islands between 1923 and 1925 inspired Meyboden to an intensive productivity.
He moved to Berlin in 1925 where he spent ten years during which he studied the current art movements, fighting to find his own art style. It was a difficult period also because of increasing health problems. He regularly exhibited works at the exhibitions of the "Preußische Akademie" where his works were eventually noticed and he experienced his first successes.
His success did not last for long, however, as the Nazis banned him from exhibiting his works. In 1935 a friend found the artist in his studio, depressed, impoverished and sick, and persuaded him to come to Fischerhude near Bremen. He felt at home in the northern German landscape where he led a secluded life.
In 1940 the Kunsthalle in Mannheim decided to organise an exhibition of Hans Meyboden's works in-spite of the ban on the artist. The Frankfurt Kunstverein and the Folkwang-Museum in Essen followed suit. After contracting tuberculosis Meyboden spent the years from 1944 to 1946 in a sanatorium in Davos. A new creative phase began after his return to Germany, the results of which were shown in various exhibitions from 1948 onwards.
In 1956 Hans Meyboden was asked to teach at the Akademie in Karlsruhe. He was finally cured of his disease by an operation one year later and could resume his work as well as travel to Paris (1961) and Provence (1964).
Hans Meyboden died of a stroke in Freiburg in 1965. Five cities in Germany organised commemorative exhibitions.

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