* 9 December 1895 in Leipzig; † 12 March 1960 in Leipzig
German painter, graphic artist and illustrator
As an Expressive Realist, Max Schwimmer ranks among the major German graphic artists.
Having graduated from a teacher-training college in Leipzig, he works as a teacher in the Erzgebirge region. After service in World War I he studies philosophy and art history at Leipzig University from 1920 to 1923. As an artist, he starts autodidactically. First graphic works are for the political and literary periodical “Die Aktion”. In 1924, on the island of Ischia, he takes part in a summer course of the expressionist painter and Matisse-disciple Hans Purrmann. In 1925, Schwimmer begins to work for the “Leipziger Volkszeitung”; his political cartoons and report illustrations become popular. From 1926 he teaches at Leipzig school of arts and crafts. The National Socialists dismiss him in 1933 from his teacher’s job and impose on him a temporary ban to take part in exhibitions. Thus, Schwimmer turns to book illustrations. In World War II he is still in 1944 called up for service in the Wehrmacht. His home and studio are destroyed by bombs. In 1946 he is made professor and vice-chancellor at the state academy of graphic arts and book publishing, later on the academy for graphic and book art in Leipzig. In 1950, after a campaign against his artistic opinions, he leaves the academy and becomes head of the graphic-arts division at the academy of fine arts in Dresden, from 1951 until the end of his life.