Max Francis Klepper was born in Zeitz, Germany, on March 1, 1861, and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1876. Klepper lived in Logansport, Indiana, between about 1876 and 1879. He studied under Robert Swain, an artist about whom little is known, and was apprenticed to a lithography firm in Chicago. In 1877, at the age of sixteen, Klepper advertised himself as an artist in the Logansport city directory. He exhibited at the first major art show in his hometown and specialized in landscapes as a young man. In 1880 his ambition to be an illustrator carried him away to New York.
Klepper attended the Art Students League in New York and the Royal Academy in Munich from 1887 to 1889. As an art student he wandered over the Rhine country and the Tyrol to paint and study scenery. He also took a course at the Munich Veterinary College, an experience that helped him in his artist’s handling of horses and other animals. Back in the United States, Klepper exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1891 and contributed illustrations to The Century, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Monthly, Harper’s Weekly, Outing, Scribner’s and other magazines over the next decade and more. Animals--horses in particular--were his specialty, an essential skill for an illustrator of scenes of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the Boer War. Klepper also illustrated several books during the early 1900s, including Lady Lee and Other Animal Stories by Hermon Lee Ensign (1901), The War in South Africa by Capt. A.T. Mahan (1901), On the We-a Trail: A Story of the Great Wilderness by Hoosier novelist Caroline Brown (aka Caroline Krout) (1903), and The Baseball Boys of Lakeport by Edward Stratemeyer (1908).
Klepper died at home in Brooklyn, New York, on May 5, 1907. He was just forty-six years old.
|Any picture you find now created by Max F. Klepper is almost sure to include horses, his specialty from the 1890s onward. This illustration is from an unknown magazine from about 1900-1905.|