Leonard Maurer (b. 1912, Newark, NJ; d. 1976, Washington, DC) spent his early years in letters: working as a copy boy for the Newark Evening News (1929–1931), in Mosiman’s Book Store (1931–39), and as a sale’s representative of a publisher’s association. During World War II, he fought in the infantry, fighting in North Ireland, France, and Germany, and receiving the Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.
He arrived in Washington after World War II, working as a cartographer. In 1948 he enrolled in art classes full time at American University, where he studied with Robert Gates, William Calfee, Sarah Baker, Jack Tworkov, and Karl Knaths. After graduating in 1952, he joined the art faculty at Mt. Vernon Seminary, and was appointed chairman of the department. Additionally, he was the director of children’s education for the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
One of the original 11 artists of the Jefferson Place Gallery, he had a solo exhibition in 1958, and was included in several of the group exhibitions. By the time his contract with the gallery ended in the spring of 1959, he left the gallery, and continued exhibiting with Franz Bader Gallery. During his time in Washington, he was frequently represented in exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, including Area Annual exhibition between 1947–64, and in every Corcoran Biennial between 1951–61, as well as solo exhibitions in 1953 and 1962. His work, “Night Signs,” which was featured on the cover of the November 1951 Corcoran Gallery of Art Bulletin, was eventually purchased by Duncan Phillips
In 1979, the Phillips Collection, Franz Bader Gallery, and the Watkins Gallery at American University held simultaneous exhibitions celebrating his career in DC.
1957—First Group Show, Oct. 10—Nov. 9
1957—Christmas Show, Dec. 9—Jan4, 1958
1958—The Group +2, May 20—June 17
1958—12 Washington Artists, University of Kentucky, Oct. 19—Nov. 16
1958—Christmas Show, Nov. 25—Dec. 31
1959—Member’s Show, April 21—May 2