Karl Yens was born in Altona, Germany on January 11, 1868. Yens (or Jens as he is also known) studied with Max Koch in Berlin and with Constant and Laurens in Paris. He was active as a muralist in Germany and Edinburgh, Scotland before coming to the United States in 1901. During the first decade in his adopted country he continued mural commissions in New York and Washington, D.C. until 1910 when he settled in Southern California. He was active in Los Angeles and Pasadena before moving to Laguna Beach in 1918. His studio still stands in Laguna Beach on South Coast Highway near Ruby Street. A versatile painter, his oeuvre includes portraits, still lifes, landscapes, genre subjects, and many studio figure studies. Equally facile with oil and watercolor, his work is distinguished by its bold, colorful, and decorative style. Yens died in Laguna beach on April 13, 1945.
Member: Modern Art Society (cofounder); California Art Club; California Teachers Association; Society of Miniature Painters; Academy of Western Painters, Los Angeles; California Watercolor Society; American Federation of Artists; Laguna Beach Art Association (cofounder); Artland Club; Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles; Long Beach Art Association; San Diego Fine Art Association; American Artists Professional League; Los Angeles Art Association.
Exhibited: Panama-California International Exposition, San Diego, 1915; Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1918, 1922, 1929; San Francisco Art Association, 1925; Oakland Art Gallery, 1932; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939.
Awards: dozens of medals and first prizes from 1915.
Works Held: City Hall, Altona, Germany; Country Club House, Brookline, Massachusettes; Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Laguna Museum; San Diego Museum; San Pedro High School; Springville Museum, Utah; Astor Theater, New York.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print