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Max Crouse

Epithet: Artist (b.c.1862)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: Artist Max Crouse was born in Germany around 1861, and appears in the 1911 Census living in Cheshire, with his occupation listed as painter (artist). Little else is known about him, although we do know that many Germans of his generation came to Britain to avoid being conscripted into the Prussian Army. We have two pieces by him in the collection.

Rsearch Notes:
A Max Crouse appears in the 1891 census lodging in Toxteth Park, Liverpool. He is listed as an artist, aged 30, and born in Iowa, USA with a wife Miriam/Marrian who was born in Shropshire. By the 1901 census a Frederick M. Crouse is listed in Cheetham, Manchester; he is an artist, aged 39 and his wife, now by the name of Mary Jane, was born in Shropshire. However, the only major difference is that Frederick ‘M’ (possibly Max) Crouse was listed as a Foreign Subject, born in Germany. We cannot confirm for sure whether these two people are the same person. The similarities between the two census entries and the proximity of Liverpool and Manchester would imply they are likely the same artist. Crouse’s wife underwent another name change, to Minnie, by 1911.

It is interesting to note that at the time of the 1891/1901 censuses Manx artists such as E.C. Quayle and R.E. Morrison were living and working in the Toxteth Park and Birkenhead areas. It is possible, therefore, that Crouse may have known some of the Manx artists and travelled to the Isle of Man on one or more painting trips.

Research concerning the potential German nationality of Frederick M. Crouse - or Friedrich Heinrich Max Krause - shows that the artist was accomplished in landscape and marine painting, and was born in 1861 in Biesdorf, near Berlin. It is possible that his father was Franz Emile Hermann Krause, who taught at the Academy of Berlin and travelled through Europe as a landscape artist. Crouse’s mother was Johann Henrietta Amelia Stock, the daughter of another German painter, J. F. A. Stock. The family seems to have moved to England and settled in Lancashire, as the 1881 census shows the 20-year-old Max Crouse living in Prestwich, as a ‘marine painter’, alongside his parents and five siblings. Max Crouse and his brother, Emil Albert, were both artists and taught by their father.

On 7 October 1916 the Manchester Evening News reported that Max and his wife had appeared before Southport magistrates for being in a prohibitive area - Southport - as he was not a British Citizen, unlike some other members of his family. His brother, Emil, became Emil Albert Stock in 1916, taking their mother’s maiden name, probably because of anti-German feeling during World War One. Emil is often wrongly called Emil Axel, creating confusion between himself and a Danish artist of the same name.

Several examples of Crouse’s work are currently known, including five paintings in the collections of Manx National Heritage. Unfortunately, none of his works appear to have been exhibited on the Island during his lifetime, which would have helped to date his visits to the Island. The known examples of his work indicate that Crouse mainly worked in oils and that harbour scenes were his most popular subject matter. The five oil paintings held in the National Art Collection are two of Douglas Harbour, two of Peel Castle and harbour and one of Castle Rushen and harbour.

There is a further painting, of Sulby Valley, which was attributed to ‘M Clause’ - which was renamed by the Christies Catalogue as ‘R Gouse’, with a question mark - which is thought to have been painted by the same Max Crouse who produced the five paintings held by Manx National Heritage.

Occupation / profession: artist

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1861-1862

Place of birth: Germany or Iowa, USA


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