Karl Mattern modernist drawing of a farm.
Karl Mattern was born in Germany and studied art at the Gymnasium in Germany. He also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His teacher was George Bellows. After his studies, he gave classes at the Chicago Academy of Art during 1922 to 1923. Albert Block, a fellow artist, encouraged Karl Mattern to teach art classes at the University of Kansas in 1925. Mr. Mattern also painted for the WPA during the depression. He and his wife moved to Iowa in 1948 and he taught at Drake University. He also was a judge of artwork for the Des Moines Art Center. He held four exhibitions of his own there as well. He also taught one year at Simpson College. After his passing, his artwork was acquired by the Des Moines Art Center, the Denver Art Museum, the Josyln Museum, and the Sioux City Art Center.