Maxim Bugzester

Polish, 1909-1978 Biography

Maxim Bugzester was born on August 31, 1909 in Stanislov, Poland of Russian Jewish parents who immigrated there. The family then moved to Vienna where Maxim spent the greater part of his youth, distinguishing himself not only as an athlete, but also in the artistic domain. His active participation in sports enabled him to qualify for the Austrian Olympic team, for which he won the bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. Maxim later became a prize fighter and held the European title for the lightweight division, however his athletic endeavors ended in 1935 in order to allow him to pursue his artistic ambitions.

Maxim entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna at the age of 14 in the 'kinder' art program, which was proceeded by studies at the Academy under the tutelage of Albert Paris Gutersloh. In order to further his artistic development, Maxim left Austria to study at the innovative Bauhaus School in Munich, where he was taught by the German Expressionist Schmidt-Rottluff. Following his education in Germany, Maxim moved to the South of France where so many prominent artists of the time were residing, including renown Nabis painter Pierre Bonnard with whom he worked.

In 1935, Maxim immigrated to America where he served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1944. He then moved to New York City, which became a vibrant new source of inspiration for his work. In 1952, he married Ruth Hackenburg whom he met at the Art Student League of New York. The couple had their first child, Mark, in 1954, and decided to return to France the following year. Living in the heart of the Bohemian quarters of Paris enabled Maxim to integrate the dynamic French intellectual and artistic circles, through which he befriended cubist painter George Braque. Both artists developed a strong friendship and Maxim proceeded to study with Braque for two and a half years.

The Bugzester family returned to New York City in 1959, where Ruth gave birth to their second child, Karen. Maxim opened an independent art studio on West 56th Street, teaching painting to rising and gifted young artists. The vibrant palettes and expressive brushstrokes reflect Maxim's rich artistic and cultural background. The artist's sensitivity is revealed through his work, and his paintings are today in many of the finest private collections.

Maxim Bugzester painted and taught art in New York City until his death on October 21, 1978.


Oil on panel
19 ½ x 15 ½ inches
25 ¼ x 29 ½ inches framed
Signed lower right: M. Bugzester