Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birthday Banner

This is a birthday banner Reinhold made for his son Marxhausen. It shows Marxy's sense of humor and the inventive typogrophy he used in many of his large works.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marxy's Deck

This is a video shot by Karl Marxhausen of the deck of Reinhold's studio, which is chock-full of interesting objects including a banner with Psalms 46:1.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Watercolor - Baby

I've been taking my first watercolor class this year, and I can tell you from experience that the trickiest thing about the medium is controlling it. For Marxhausen to achieve this level of realism with watercolor is impressive.

Dean Mitchell is the only other artist I know of who uses watercolor for highly realistic portraiture.

Marxhausen's seems drawn to younger subjects. These two paintings remind me of the old master, Frans Hals.

Oil - Tooth ache

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Updates and Labels

Hello blog readers!

You may have noticed there have been new images appearing regularly this week. I'm happy to say I've now got enough images of Marxhausen's work to keep new posts appearing on this blog regularly. From now through Christmas, new watercolors and photos will be posted automatically every other day. Check back tomorrow for a new watercolor.

There's a nice story behind how I came across all these images. I'll thank God for this one. Apparently, Amber Konz, the founder of the Marxhausen blog, compiled photos of hundreds of works by Marxhausen, but never had a chance to upload it all. I stumbled across this old folder in one of the computers in the lab, and when I mentioned it, she was surprised to hear about it. She had been told that folder had been deleted. Thankfully, a copy survived, and now I'm going to start posting these artworks. There are folders for all kinds of media: sculpture, painting, watercolor, laundry machine lint, etc. For now, I'm mostly posting watercolor to keep things organized. In future, you can look forward to a whole range of media. There are also photos of Marxhausen's studio, giving you a glimpse into his work space.

For readers who are less familiar with blogs, let me take this opportunity to explain "labels." Labels are the words you see at the bottom of each post in grey text. I'm using labels like "watercolor," "photography," "essays," etc. Click on one, and you will see all the images and posts relating to that topic. So, if you just want to see Marxhausen's watercolor, or if there's a specific image you are looking for, using labels will make that simpler for you.

A big thank you to Amber Konz for compiling these images.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clay Brick Video

This clay brick was a gift Reinhold gave to his son Karl. The lettering reminds me of the brick art in Weller basement.
Update 12/23/10:
These links lead to other videos of the same brick shot at different angles: second video, third video.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Articles about Marxhausen on Letterman

In recent weeks, I've been working on my internship, which takes away a lot of time from the Marxhausen blog, but this week the internship will be complete and you'll be seeing more posts. I'm visiting the archives for the school newspaper this week to look for stories about Marxhausen's major art projects for the school.

Here's the Omaha World Herald and Journal Star which told the story about Marxhausen's appearance on David Letterman's show.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marxy in the Tower - 1972

Page 94-97 of the Tower yearbook features an in-depth interview with Marxhausen along with photos. It discusses his tour across America.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thou Openest Thine Hand

Thou openest thine hand

10’ x 12’ painted directly onto plaster wall

Painted over 1970s

In this entry I told the story of how I first learned about this mural, which is now covered over.
This is the best image I've been able to find of it, courtesy of Prof. Bockelman. Two verses in the King Jame's Version of the Bible use this phrase:

Psalm 104:28 "That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good."

Psalm 145:16 "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Eclipse


Acrylic on masonite panels each 4’


I didn't know this was a Marxhausen before! If you get up close, you can see where he brushed red lightly over thick black paint to get an eerie effect. This is in the science building on CUNE campus.

In one of the yearbooks, they pictured a large drawing of the moon by one of his classes. It seems space and the moon were subjects that intrigued him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Marxy in the Tower - 1960

I'm a journalist for Concordia's student newspaper, The Sower, and I'm going to look into finding articles about Marxhausen in the old issues. The Tower yearbook has been a great source of information, so I have high hopes that The Sower will have stories about Marxy's art projects, perhaps even interviews.

The 1960 yearbook featured some striking artwork. The images centered on the theme of growth and used poetry alongside image, something I've observed in work by Marxhausen. Were these illustrations by Marxhausen? If someone can confirm they are, I will post them on this blog.

Please visit the Marxhausen Facebook page and see if you can help identify these mysterious art works.
Here is the faculty shot of the 1960 yearbook.

Koenig was a contemporary of Marxhausen and the founder of the Koenig collection. He was memorialized in the 1960 Tower.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Buy Some Art, Help a Great Cause!

Art exhibitions are wonderful in so many ways. They're educational, entertaining and give people something beautiful to look at in the midst of our busy lives. The exhibition on the art of Reinhold Marxhausen will surely be all of these things and more. Marxhausen taught his students (and everyone around him) to notice the beauty in everyday objects. Whether a shadow falling across the sidewalk, a smooth stone or a rusty tin can, Marxhausen could certainly find the most special and exciting attributes. We at the Center for Liturgical Art hope that this exhibit inspires guests to reawaken a sense of wonder as they experience the world.

The Center received a gift of $10,000 to fund the exhibit. We're challenging our supporters (that includes you, blog reader!) to help us match this donation by December 2010. The funds raised will be used to complete further research about Marx and his art, put together the show and travel it to St. Louis (and hopefully other destinations!), and create an exhibition catalogue for visitors.

This exhibition might seem like a one time event, but it is just one more way we can help Marxhausen's legacy live on. By having the exhibition in St. Louis, we're spreading his philosophy to new regions. By creating a catalogue, we're ensuring that a solid compilation of information about Marxhausen will be available to future students and the public at Concordia Unversity. It's an investment we're really excited about!

If you're interested in contributing, check out our website at Mark Anschutz, the resident artist and director of the CLA has graciously donated his paintings to the Center. You can purchase these paintings on our website if you click on "store." 100% of the proceeds from these paintings will go directly to the Marxhausen exhibit. You'll get a new piece of art for your living room and benefit a great cause as well!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upcoming Marxhausen Exhibit

Hey everyone! I'm Abby, the new blogger for this site. I'm a new member of the Center for Liturgical Art team and among other things, one of my main jobs is to put together a show about Marxhausen. This show will focus on his liturgical/religious artwork, and we're especially hoping to feature works Marxy did in churches around the nation. In addition, there will be several pieces from Concordia University's collection.

If you visit the exhibit, not only will you find religious works, but you'll also get to learn about Marxhausen's life, career and unique artistic philosophy. Marxy was known for seeing the beauty in everyday life, and some of his found object works (which display this approach perfectly!) will be included in the exhibit.

The show will open in January in the Wolfram Gallery at the LCMS International Center in Kirkwood, Missouri, right outside St. Louis. Hopefully we'll get to plan some programming too - a talk about Marxy's art, or a showing of one of his movies. That's all still in the works.

For now, keep us in your prayers as we put together this show! It's going to be a great way to celebrate the amazing legacy of Marxhausen's life and his creativity. If you're interested in knowing more about the exhibit, or if you'd like to make a donation to help fund the show, please let me know at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcoming a new writer!

I'm happy to welcome Abby Lange to the Marxhausen
blog. Abby is a graduate of Valparaiso University,
Reinhold's school.

You've seen posts on this blog featuring mysterious
works, ones which could be by Marxhausen or one
of his students. We're planning on moving this section
to facebook so that more people can see these works
and potentially help us identify the artist.

Also, I've started my own personal blog where I'll be
writing about how Marxhausen influences my own
work and the way I see the world.

This means that posts for this blog will feature more
of Marxhausen's own work.

Please visit the Marxhausen Fan Club page on

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Jones Bank Mural

This is my first attempt loading video directly to blogger. These were shot by Karl Marxhausen for the blog.

The documentary, the Koenig Connection had a quote by Reinhold describing this piece, which I'll post this Sunday, along with some of my own photos showing the whole mural.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Art Wall

Most houses or schools have a blank wall in a hallway or basement that attracts fingerprints and is hard to keep clean anyway. Every house needs a wall that can be worked on. Ever since we had children, we have had a wall for them in the basement. The wall is 8 feet by 10 feet long where paintings, scribbles, drawings, birthday wishes, cartoons, doodles, are sandwiched between layers of papier mache and coats of paint. When the wall becomes saturated with images and words, a fresh coat of paint or paper made everything new again for new words and feelings...A home or school without a wall to work on is depriving its inhabitants of a privilege that even primitive man had when he drew pictographs on the walls of caves.

Last Saturday, I had an opportunity to meet Reinhold's son, Karl Marxhausen. We looked at Reinhold's mural in the campus center and talked about the work on the blog. I also had a chance to watch Karl do some filming. This is the wall in the home where Marxhausen raised his kids. Karl also filmed the mural in Jones bank and Janzow campus center. What I like about Karl's films is that they show details a regular photograph can't. Even if you got the opportunity to look at one of these works up close (which I'd encourage you to try if you get the chance) you might not notice some of the small details Karl focuses on in his videos.

Monday, May 31, 2010


This is a publication written by Marxhausen about his innovation to use honey comb paper, which is like a slinky made of cardboard, as a medium for art classes. It's economical and allows young students to work in three dimensions.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Article Featuring Ted Kooser and Marxy

This is an article from the Library of Congress written by Donna Urschel. In it, Ted Kooser talks about Marxhausen's way of finding beauty in everyday things. Kooser has contributed to this blog by writing about his memories of Marxhausen. The full article can be read here.

'Nothing Ordinary About a Raindrop'
Ted Kooser on Appreciating Everyday Things the suggestion of a Bankers Life management consultant, the insurance company brought in Reinhold Marxhausen, a photographer, to cheer up the employees. "Marxhausen was a delightful man, playful yet serious about art and its happy effects," Kooser said. The photographer spent several weeks taking pictures, 35mm color slides, of the workplace, capturing "the way light refracted from the chrome of a doorknob, the flowing shadows in curtained windows, and so on."

When he was finished, Marxhausen appeared before an assembly of employees in the cafeteria and showed the slides. "He showed us what was all around us, but what we had never stopped to notice," Kooser said.

"His slides were beautiful, rich with color and mass and texture. Who would have thought, for example, that the arc of water in a common drinking fountain could be so beautiful? We left our gray metal folding chairs feeling altogether happy and refreshed, as if sprinkled by a hose on a summer day. And we were a little in awe, looking about us to see what kinds of beauty we, too, might find right under our noses. What had we been missing every day?"

The slide show was a life-changing event for Kooser. He, too, started to pay attention to the details, "to the beauties and pleasures of the ordinary."


About 10 years ago, Kooser was asked to write a poem to accompany a painting for an art book, which was never published. (Kooser later used a picture of that George Ault painting on the cover of "Delights & Shadows.") The poem that Kooser proposed was:

"If you can awaken
inside the familiar
and discover it strange,
you need never leave home."

"This four-line poem is a kind of credo for me," Kooser told the audience. "In short, we have beauty all about us, if we take the time to pay attention to it. Reinhold Marxhausen knew about paying attention; George Ault knew it. Pablo Neruda wrote dozens of remarkable poems about common things. Thousands of poets and painters have learned to pay attention like this. We honor the ordinary by giving it our attention. We enshrine the ordinary in our art. Is there anything really ordinary, I wonder."

Other Blogs with Informaiton on Marxhausen

While browsing the internet, I discovered two other blogs with posts about Marxhausen. One seems to be a blog analyzing sound, and contained a quote and photos of Marxy I had not seen before.
Once I found a stone that was brown, irregular and very smooth. It was heavy, and looked a bit melted. I remember showing it to a wise, old, bearded rock-hound pastor from Morristown, Minnesota. Reverend Zimmerman's house and life were filled to overflowing with interesting stuff he had collected in his lifetime. When he saw my brown stone, his bushy eyebrows twitched, He looked at me and said 'Son, this is a meteorite - a star' That stone became special to me and I carried it around to surprise all my friends. I was the boy with stardust in his pockets.
You can read the full blog post here.

The other blog I stumbled across is about Seward Nebraska. Marxhausen left such an imprint on the community, it's not surprising to see his work discussed here.

According to the author, Mike Sylwester, these photos were taken on July 4, 1975, and originally had a caption: "Marxhausen Seward Fourth of July Parade float. Old St. John Lutheran Church in the background." Sylwester explains that the second picture "shows the front of the float being held by Karl Marxhausen (in the foreground) and Reinhold Marxhausen (in the background). The back of the float was held by Paul and Dorris Marxhausen (son and mother) and some friends, but they are not seen in these pictures."

He also quoted Reinhold Marxhausen's son, Karl, who discussed how the float was constructed:
Dad used hula hoops for the four corners. With a walker in each hoop. He created a fish line grid, to which inflated ballons were secured. The rectangular float could be elevated by the front and back walkers moving to the middle, creating a 20 high arch.
The full post can be read here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Marxy in the Tower - 1974

One of the rare yearbook photos where Marxy is not busy on a project. There was little art or other information relating to Marxhausen in this yearbook.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Marxy in the Tower - 1971

On the opposite page, Marxhausen is quoted:

When one says yes to life - all the findings are an affirmation and celebration to belief. Looking and searching s to never know, and expectancy is high.

The entry reads:

First semester Professor Marxhausen invited all art majors and minors to help draw a scale picture of the moon which was placed on the north wall of the science building. During interim his art and science, using techniques from both disciplines, created optical illusions which were placed in the science building stairwells.

Also noteworthy, photos of the student senate and officers were taken in front of Marxhausen's Open Book that year.

- Duncan

Marxy in the Tower - 1970

I've been reading older editions of Concordia's yearbook, The Tower, and every one has a bit of info about Marxhausen. I've found some excellent quotes by Marcy and photos of his work I haven't seen anywhere else. Reinhold is pictured on the bottom alongside one of his pieces. The text says that he "enjoys making home-made wine."

The second page shows a few artworks, presumably by both students and professors. They are not labeled, but at least one piece looks like Marxhausen's sound sculptures, the picture right in the middle. A couple others look like they use wood, which may be by Marxy, or by students who learned to use a similar technique.

- Duncan

Marxy in the Tower - 1969

Marxy appears to be putting polyurethane on a wood sculpture. Above the art professors, there are works by students. The yearbook itself doesn't have information on the names of the students who created the works. Any former students recall these art works? I wonder which ones were in Marxy's class. One of the photos looks like a wood mosaic, which a student could have learned in one of Marxy's classes.
The title page for every section, "Faculty," "Students," etc., showed the same photographs. For the student section, the photo of the students was highlighted in gold ink, and so on for the other sections. Marxhausen was the faculty member featured in this yearbook, which meant this picture was on the title page of each section, and printed in gold for the faculty section. Once again, the photos of Marxhy show him hard at work.