Carl Kauba; Sculptor

Carl Kauba – (1865 – 1922)

Carl Kauba was born August 13, 1865 in Vienna, Austria, the son of a shoemaker. Kauba studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Professor Laufenberg. Later he would study at the academies under Carl Waschmann and Stefan Schwartz and he travelled to Paris in 1886 to further study.

His subjects were typically American Indians, calvarymen, cowboys, and roughriders. In addition to his American bronzes, Kauba produced a lifetime’s worth of Austrian statuary. Kauba’s fascination with the West was fed by the stories of the German writer, Carl May, whose tales of Western adventures were known throughout Europe. It has been suggested that Kauba traveled to the American West when he was about twenty-five years old, possibly returning to Austria with voluminous notes, sketches, and several models of Western sculpture. However the majority of scholars feel that the artist never travelled to the United States at all, but instead relied upon the accounts of others and first hand artifacts to execute his bronzes.

Carl Kauba is also noted for his “Naughties”- a collection of mechanical or metamorphic sculptures. Kauba also worked under the name of T.Curts, and Karl Thenn and many of his works were unsigned. Thus it is quite normal to find identical sculptures with any of these signatures or without any signature.

The intricate detail, and the realistic forms make Kauba’s sculptures excellent examples of Viennese bronzes at the turn of the century.

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