Born in Nagy Bittse, Hungary on October 1, 1877, Maurice Braun emigrated to America with his parents at age four, settling in New York City. Braun attended the National Academy of Fine Arts from 1897-1900, and in 1901 he spent a year studying under William Merritt Chase.
On the East Coast, Braun began his professional career as a figure and portrait painter, although he soon found this style of painting to be artistically limiting. California’s burgeoning art scene, fresh environment and active Theosophical Society lured Braun westward.
Braun remains one of California’s most important early painters. Exhibiting his landscapes of the region at the National Academy of Design and the Carnegie Art Institute, he received favorable reviews from East Coast critics as early as 1911. Braun founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1912 and was an active exhibitor on the West Coast, receiving gold medals at the San Diego and San Francisco World’s Fairs of 1916. The landscapes of Southern California are Braun’s legacy.