* 2 April 1886 in Königstein/Taunus; † 3 March 1979 in Munich
An appreciated artist at the time of the Weimar Republic, Hans Christof Drexel is almost forgotten, a consequence of Hitler’s dictatorship and war. He starts his studies of architecture in Munich, but he soon turns to painting. From 1906 to 1907, he attends the famous Académie Julian in Paris. In 1911 he chooses Hagen in Westphalia as his place of residence, and there he becomes a friend of the art collector Karl Ernst Osthaus. Drexel’s early work – portrayals of animal, man, and landscape – is orientated towards Expressionism. Together with Emil Nolde, Hans Richter and others, he takes part in a group exhibition at the Nassauische Kunstverein Wiesbaden. In 1919 Drexel joins the Berlin November Group and the Düsseldorf artists’ association “Das Junge Rheinland“. A meeting with Christian Rohlfs develops into a long-standing friendship. From 1919 until he moves to Berlin in 1923, he teaches at the Folkwangschule in Hagen. In Berlin he has, for some time, a studio community with Paul Klee and Lyonel Feininger. The gallery owner Alfred Flechtheim concludes a contract with him in 1923. In 1932 he is awarded the Villa-Romana prize. The National Socialists defame Drexel’s art as “degenerate” and ban him in 1937 from taking part in exhibitions. Many of his works are destroyed by air raids in World War II. In 1944 Drexel flees into the Allgäu and moves to Munich in 1946. From 1947 on, he teaches classes at the academies of teaching in Essen and Münster as well as at the Munich university.