Herman Maril (1908-1986), a native of Baltimore, received his early training as an artist at the Maryland Art Institute and worked during the Great Depression years on federal projects. Maril also attracted the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, who displayed Maril's sketch of the Baltimore harbor in the White House, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who showed a Maril canvas in his Washington, D.C. mansion.
After the War, Maril began a long-time association with the University of Maryland as a Professor in the school's Art/Art History Department. He joined the Department in its earliest years, when it was located in the attic of Francis Scott Key Hall. Over the next four decades, as the Department moved to Tawes Hall and ultimately to its current home in the Art/Sociology Building, Maril taught painting to thousands of undergrads and graduates and oversaw the management of the Art program within the Department. Along with graduate level courses in painting, he particularly enjoyed and consistently taught the Department's Painting I courses, a basic requirement for all undergrad Art students.
Maril received ample critical praise and accolades throughout his career, including 50-plus solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the country. The shores of Cape Cod were a particular inspiration for him; it was on Cape Cod that Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection, discovered Maril and began championing his work. Today, the Phillips currently holds 13 Maril paintings in its collection. Along with the Phillips, over 70 museum collections hold Maril artwork, including the Whitney, the Corcoran, the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Walters Art Museum.
Beginning in 2008, a three-year series of Maril exhibitions including shows at the Provincetown Art Association Museum, the Walters Art Museum, the Ward Museum in Salisbury MD and the University of Maryland's Art Gallery will commemorate the artist's 100th birthday.