Biography - Herbert Boeckl

1894
Herbert Boeckl is born in Klagenfurt on 3 June, the second of four sons to the state trade school teacher Leopold Böckl and his wife, Paula, née Münichsdorfer.

1904–1912
Boeckl attends secondary school in Klagenfurt and makes his first artistic attempts at the Carinthian State Museum.  

1912–1915
Having applied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts without success, Boeckl studies architecture at the Technical University, but continues pursuing a career as a painter, taking part in an exhibition at the Vienna-based Kunstsalon Pisko for the first time in 1913.  

1915–1918
War service on the Italian front, together with the art historian Bruno Grimschitz, the future curator and director of the Österreichische Galerie.

1918–1931
Boeckl enters into a commission agreement with the Viennese art dealer Gustav Nebehay that entitles him to advance payments. In 1919 he marries Maria Plahna; his quickly growing family (by 1941 they have nine children) frequently changes residence in Carinthia.

1921–1924
Study trips to Berlin, Paris, and Palermo.

1927
First solo exhibition of thirty oil paintings within the framework of the Vienna Secession’s autumn show.

1928
Boeckl moves to Vienna and rents the studio in Argentinierstraße. The family first lives in Perchtoldsdorf and then moves to Alliiertenstraße in Vienna’s 2nd district, Leopoldstadt.

1934
Boeckl receives the Grand Austrian State Prize, which is awarded for the first time, for his painting Hymn to Mary.

1935
The artist is appointed professor at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and functions as Austria’s official government commissioner for the art exhibition at the Brussels World’s Fair. He travels to London.  

1937
Participation in the Exposition d’art Autrichien and study trip to Paris.

1938
The painter changes the spelling of his name from Böckl to Boeckl; the first painting signed with this new version of his name is Yellow Quarry near St. Margarethen. From now on, he almost exclusively signs his pictures and letters in this way.

1939
Boeckl resigns from his master class at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and instead teaches the compulsory evening class for nude studies. His art is marginalised in the official art scene.  

1945
After Vienna’s liberation, Boeckl is made principal of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (until 1946), while Albert Paris Gütersloh and Fritz Wotruba are appointed professors.

1946
Retrospective at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

1951
Study trip to Spain. The artist starts working on the frescos for the Chapel of Angels in the Benedictine abbey of Seckau in Styria.

1955
Study trip to Greece.

1956
President of the Austrian section at UNESCO’s Association internationale des arts plastiques; Boeckl attends its first congress in Paris.

1959
Study trip to Egypt.

1960
Host of the third conference of UNESCO’s Association internationale des arts plastiques in Vienna; completion of the frescoes at Seckau.

1962
Boeckl is elected principal of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

1964
Retrospective at the Vienna Museum of the Twentieth Century. On 29 October, Boeckl suffers a cerebral stroke and remains confined to bed until his death.  

1966
Herbert Boeckl dies on 20 January and is buried in a grave of honour provided by the City of Vienna.

 

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