Erich Ernst Karl Mayer, SV/PROG

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Erich Ernst Karl Mayer, SV/PROG

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (District), Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Death: 1960 (84-85)
Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Husband of Margaretha Gutter, SM

Occupation: Aankoms 1898
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Erich Ernst Karl Mayer, SV/PROG

Marriage:

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C953-3SVZ-7?i=69&cc=1910846&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQ2HG-FJDQ

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Erich MAYER made a name for himself in South Africa as a watercolourist. His oil paintings are also much prized. The size of his paintings were mostly quite small and he had a particular interest in depicting the bush landscape of the high veldt. He studied architecture at the Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule, Berlin, 1894-1896, and came to South Africa in 1898 where he worked as as assistant land surveyor at Vrede in the Orange Free State. During the Anglo-Boer War he joined a Boer commando, was captured at Mafeking and sent to St Helena. In 1903 he returned to Germany where he studied art. Again for health reasons he returned to South Africa and in 1904 was in South West Africa (Namibia); although trained in architecture, MAYER never worked in this discipline, so far as is known, in South Africa. He died in Pretoria, respected as a painter.

Ernst Karl Mayer was born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1876. He was educated in Berlin, could not afford to study art, but won a bursary for architectural training. In 1896 his studies were discontinued when ill-health confined him to bed for two years. In 1898 he was seeking for a healthier climate and came to South Africa. Later in his life he worked as a newspaper artist and became acquainted with Pieter Wenning and JH Pierneef, to whom he taught the art of woodcut. He married Margaretha Gutter, and the two travelled by caravan through South Africa. Mayer’s paintings became very popular among the rural communities. In general, Mayer worked within the popular representational tradition. The curious Baobab tree or “Kremetartboom”, figures with great frequency in his landscape painting. In 1914 he had his first successful exhibition and in 1920, held an important exhibition in Stellenbosch, where after he decided to move to Johannesburg in 1921. Mayer decided to further his studies and moved to Florence, Italy for a year in 1935, studying under Chini and Annigonni. Upon his return he exhibited around the country. Erich Mayer was awarded a Medal of Honour for Painting by the ‘Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie’ in 1943. Erich Mayer died in Pretoria in 1960. In 1962 his work was included in an exhibition titled ‘Art in South West Africa’ at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town and in 1972 at the Prestige Retrospective Exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum.

Erich Mayer

Art education

1894-96: architecture at Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule, Berlin. 1903: some study in Germany. 1907: drawing and painting in Karlsruhe. 1909-11: drawing and painting in Stuttgart. 1935-36: in Florence, under Chini and Annigoni

Biography

- Erich Mayer was educated in Berlin, could not afford to study art, but won a bursary for architectural training. - 1896: his studies were discontinued when ill-health confined him to bed for two years. - 1898: seeking a more healthy climate, Erich Mayer came to South Africa; appointed Assistant Land-Surveyor at Vrede, Freestate. - 1899: Erich Mayer joined a Boer commando fighting in the Anglo-Boer War; sketched farmers at whose farms he stopped-over with his battalion. - 1900: Erich Mayer was captured by the British at Mafeking and sent to St Helena. There he devoted his leisure-time to art. - 1902: Erich Mayer was repatriated to Germany as an alien; spent winter 1902-03 in Tunisia - 1904: poor health brought him back to South West Africa, where he devoted himself to painting. He returned twice to Germany for art studies, in 1907 and 1909. 1911: following Union, Erich Mayer was able to re-enter South Africa; moved successively from Port Elizabeth to Potchefstroom to Pretoria; worked as a newspaper artist; became acquainted with Wenning and Pierneef, to whom he taught the art of woodcut. - 1914: once again interned during WW1; 21 months in camp in Pietermaritzburg. - 1916: after his release on parole, Erich Mayer travelled and exhibited in the Transvaal and Stellenbosch. - 192I-25: based in Johannesburg. - 1928: Erich Mayer married Margaretha Gutter and the two travelled South Africa by caravan; Mayer's paintings became very popular among the rural community; commission for a mural for Johannesburg College of Education. - 1931: Erich Mayer settled in Pretoria. - 1933: he and his wife started a spinning and weaving school in Pretoria. - 1935-36: Erich Mayer studied in Florence. - 1939: following separation from his wife, Erich Mayer travelled and exhibited all over the Transvaal. - 1943: Erich Mayer awarded Medal of Honour for Painting by South African Akademie. - 1953: Erich Mayer Album' published by HAUM - De Bussy. Illustrated a number of Afrikaans books, including Nuwejaarfees Op Palmietfontein' by Leon Mare. Several of his paintings have bee reproduced by E Schweikerdt (Pty) Ltd. Member of NSA, Eastern Province Society of Arts and Crafts, East London Society of Arts, Transvaal Society of Arts

Exhibitions

- 1914: first one-man exhibition, Jhb; widely in all quarters of South Africa. - 1920-: regular exhibitor on South African Academy, Jhb. - 1952: Van Riebeeck Tercent Exhibition, CT. - 1962: Art in South West Africa', South African National Galllery, CT. - 1972: Prestige retrospective exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum.

Exhibitions

Johannesburg Art Galllery; Pretoria Art Museum; AC White Gallery. Bloemfontein; William Humphreys Gallery, Bloemfontein War Museum

Source Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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Erich Ernst Karl Mayer, SV/PROG's Timeline

1875
April 19, 1875
Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (District), Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
1960
1960
Age 84
Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa