* 9 July 1885 in Mainz; † 25 December 1968 in Bayrischzell
Together with Gerhard Marcks and August Gaul, Philipp Harth is among the greatest animal sculptors of the twentieth century. After an apprenticeship in lithography, Harth studies at the Mainz Art School from 1903 until 1906. After a short stay with Heinrich Vogeler in Worpswede and a yearlong visit to the Karlsruhe Art Academy, he goes to Berlin. Here, at the School of Arts and Crafts and with the master of wood carving Perathoner, Harth finally turns to sculpture. Between 1917 and 1928 he works, with short breaks, as an art teacher at the Odenwald School in Heppenheim. In 1925 he achieves his breakthrough as an animal sculptor, with among other pieces, the wood sculpture “Fauchender Jaguar” [Hissing Jaguar], which is acquired by the Berlin National Gallery in 1930. From 1926 to 1933 he lives and works, at times, in Schwaz (Tyrol). He is a member of the Berlin Secession until 1933. In 1935 he is awarded the Villa Romana prize. In the same year the National Socialists confiscate a statue of an eagle made by Harth. For his bronze sculpture “Schreitender Tiger” [Striding Tiger] he is awarded the “Grand Prix” at the Paris Expo in 1937. The wartime bombardment of Berlin causes him to move to Offenhausen (Swabian Jura) in 1941. After criticising National Socialist art policies he is briefly arrested in 1943, then placed under police supervision and prohibited from working. From 1946 Harth lives in Bayrischzell. He is represented at exhibitions, receives continual commissions and numerous awards.