John D. Muench Biography

John D. Muench




Painter and printmaker John Muench was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, on Oct. 15, 1914, son of James and Marjorie Muench. A painter and lithographer, he was largely self-taught, with some training at the Art Students League and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the Academie Julien in Paris. He then married and moved to Maine to work for the logging industry. It wasn't until he was gifted a lithograph as a wedding present in 1941 that he became intrigued by the medium, and he returned to New York to train in lithography with master printer George Miller.

Muench would go on to serve as Director of the School of Fine and Applied Art in Portland, Maine from 
1958-1965 and as Associate Professor of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1965-1976. He was a visiting instructor at the Tamarind Lithograohy Workshop in Los Angeles in 1962, and he ended his academic tenure as director of the Maine Printmaking Workshop and as artist-in-residence at Westbrook College in Portland, Maine. In 1978 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Portland School of Art. 

Muench's paintings and prints have been exhibited in galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum in Jerusalem, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He exhibited extensively in Maine, including at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, and at the Joan Whitney Payson Gallery in Portland. Several of his works are included in the University of Maine art collection.
He died August 13, 1993 at the age of 78.

Philadelphia Watercolor Club (award, 1954), Audubon Artists (medal of honor, 1959; John Taylor Arms award, 1960, '64), American Society of Graphic Artists, National Academy of Design (associate).

Biography primarily sourced from the University of Maine and the Portland Art Museum.