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Karl Hagedorn RBA RI RSMA NEAC NS (1889-1969)

Karl Adolph Hagedorn, RBA RI RSMA NEAC NS (1889-1969)

German-born Karl Hagedorn made a consciously pioneering attempt to introduce Modernism to Manchester in the early decades of the twentieth century, through his work as a painter and designer. Later, he tempered his style so that it fitted more easily into England’s naturalistic watercolour tradition.

Karl Hagedorn was born in Berlin on 11 September 1889, and brought up in Freiburg-im-Breisgau. He went to Manchester in 1905 to train in textile production at the School of Technology, and also studied under Adolph Valette at the School of Art. At the School of Art, he befriended local girl, Nelly Stiebel, who would become his wife, and Francis Sladen Smith, with whom he founded the art club,
Der Künstler Zwei. By 1911, he was boarding with Sladen and his parents at 289 Great Western Street, Moss Side, and working as clerk.

His development into a Modernist was achieved in Paris, in the years 1912-13, when, working under Maurice Denis, he met a number of artists – notably Henri Matisse – and absorbed a range of avant-garde styles.

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