Max Karp, American (1918 -
Max Karp was born in 1916 in Ohio, but he was raised in California. He was a self taught artist and one of the few contemporary painters to use enamel for their artistic work. Because of his enormous talent and the fact that he has perfected unique processes, which allow the creation of museum-quality, kiln-fired collectibles, his place in art history is assured.
Karp began painting by recording in his oils various species of birds and insects for his father who was an ornithologist/entomologist. In the mid-1960's, Karp became interested in the enamel process. Beginning on a small scale, he taught himself the enamel technique and later experimented with the large paintings in enamel for which he is best known. During the last few decades, Karp's enamel paintings have received critical recognition. In 1970 Hamilton Mint commissioned Karp to produce four paintings of the seasons of the year, which were then issued as a limited edition of plates on precious metal.
In 1980 Karp's 20 x 24-inch enamel portrait of Beverly Sills was presented to the American Queen of Opera following her final performance on full-length opera. In addition, numerous private art collectors, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Happy Rockefeller and Sarah Churchill, have acquired works by Max Karp for their collections.