* 2 March 1878 in Norden/Ostfriesland; † 2 December 1962 in Berlin
Martin Stekker is a master of the line. His atmospherically compact landscapes, portraits and animal pictures bring him close to a comparison with great artists like Max Liebermann. Stronger still than in the paintings, his drawings focus on the everyday things around him and describe them, full of poetry.
After an apprenticeship as stage designer at the Düsseldorf municipal theatre, Stekker studies from 1901 on at the city’s Academy of Arts. In 1908 and 1909, the academy offers him a travelling grant for Belgium and Italy. In a competition for the design of murals in 1910 he wins the first prize. In the years of 1914 to 1918 he fights as a soldier in the First World War. In 1920 he moves to Berlin, where Max Liebermann helps him to obtain a master studio at the Prussian Academy of Arts.
Stekker designs murals in the city hall of Berlin and the church in Groß Behnitz near Nauen. For the publishing house Peter J. Oestergaard he illustrates books. Because of his Jewish wife Toni, the National Socialists exclude him 1935 from public orders. During the Reichspogromnacht of 1938 his wife’s porcelain shop is demolished. This anti-Semitic act of terror, as well as the disqualification from business, causes the family the loss of a major source of income. During the Second World War the artist is obliged to work as a precision-mechanics draughtsman and designing engineer. He is, however, able to continue his work for the Oestergaard publishing house, under the pseudonym of Steckler. In November 1945 already, the art office of the Berlin district Tiergarten shows a first exhibition with works by the artist. In 2016, the last solo exhibition so far of works by Martin Stekker takes place in the house of the Kunstverein Norden/Ostfriesland.The artist is buried on the cemetery Berlin-Frohnau, Hainbuchenstraße.