* 17 January 1881 in Mengen; † 20 September 1938 in Stuttgart
German painter, wood-engraver, and art historian
Gottfried Graf is part of the avant-garde art scene around Adolf Hölzel in Southwest Germany.
After training as a post-office clerk, he starts, in 1904, to devote himself to art. He finishes his studies in Stuttgart at the Kunstgewerbeschule, taking a degree as an art teacher. From 1910 to 1913 he studies at the Stuttgart art academy with Adolf Hölzel. During a trip to the South of France he meets the Cubists Jacques Villon and Albert Gleizes. Occupation with Cezanne and Cubism as well as his friendship with Gleizes lead him to a cubistic disassembling of objectivity. In 1917 he takes part in the “Sturm-Gesamtschau” in Berlin. In 1918 he continues his studies at the Stuttgart art academy and supports, together with the students’ representative Oskar Schlemmer, a radical reform of the academy. So, the two, together with Willi Baumeister and others, found a local group of the Berlin revolutionary November Group: the Üecht-Group. From 1921 on he teaches at the Stuttgart art academy. He is in charge of the class of wood-engraving and, in 1925, is granted a professorship for the class of graphic arts. In 1921, 1923 and 1924, Graf exhibits in the November Group’s division of the Große Berliner Kunstausstellung. He is among the founding members of the “Group 1929 Stuttgart”. In 1938 he is dismissed from his teaching job by the National Socialists. Physically and mentally a broken man, he dies in the same year.