Paul Klee 1879–1940
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland in 1879. His formal training in art began under the instruction of the famed academic painter Franz von Stuck in Munich. Klee had his first solo exhibition of art in 1910 in Switzerland. Shortly after, he was asked to create a set of lithographs for a new edition of Voltaire’s satire Candide. Klee joined the Munich artistic collective known as the Blue Rider in 1912 and developed a friendship with its founding member, Wassily Kandinsky. Klee’s art was shaped by his Transcendentalist philosophy, and his work reflects his interest in returning to the childlike nature of the self. In 1920, Walter Gropius appointed Klee to be one of the masters of the Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany. Klee taught the famed entry-level "Vorkurs," or groundwork course, that was required of all Bauhaus students and also led the elective painting courses alongside fellow master Kandinsky. Klee would teach at the Bauhaus until 1931 when he accepted a position teaching at the Art Academy of Dusseldorf. However, the position wouldn’t last as Klee was singled out by the Gestapo and fired from his post in 1933. Later that year, Klee and his family returned to Switzerland. In the years before his death, Klee was at his most prolific. Klee died in 1940, but his work lives on in the permanent collections of museums around the globe.