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Biographical Information

Marcus Behmer was born October 1, 1879 in Weimar, Germany. He was a son of the art painter and Professor Hermann Behmer (1831-1915), and evolved into a significant font and book artist, illustrator, graphic artist, and painter. He published his work under both his real name and the pseudonyms of Marcotino and Maurice Besnaux. In 1897 he started his apprenticeship as a stage painter at the Munich Vereinigte Werkstätten (United Workshops for Art in Craft), then got promoted from Otto Julius Bierbaum, a German journalist and editor. From 1902 Behmer draw, wrote and designed books for the legendary Harry Graf Kessler and its Cranach Press, but above all for the publisher Insel. He also worked for other publishers, such as for Paul Cassirer who published one of Behmer’s major works. In 1903 Behmer moved to Berlin, and in the same year, became a member of the Berlin Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Kommitee (The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), one of the first organizations in the world that campaigned for homosexual rights. From 1914-1917 he served as a soldier in the German Army. In 1937 he was sentenced to two years imprisonment by the Nazis for living openly as a homosexual. Marcus Behmer died September 12, 1958 in Berlin, Germany.

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Behmer, Marcus, 1879-1958: Indian tale, Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 78.549.

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Behmer, Marcus, 1879-1958

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