(Oberndorf, formerly St. Johann in Tyrol 1891 – Kitzbühel 1958)
Alfons Walde was born in Oberndorf/St. Johann in Tyrol in 1891. His interest in everything pictorial became apparent early on in his life. During his school days, watercolor and tempera pictures were created in an expressionist style. In 1910 he began studying architecture at the Technical University in Vienna. There he also took lectures in freehand drawing, life drawing and watercolors.
During this time Walde was often with his aunt in Kirchdorf in Upper Austria. Farms, fields, and gardens were his motifs there, captured in earthy watercolor tones. In 1911 Walde had his first successful exhibition in Innsbruck, and in 1913 he made the move to Vienna with an exhibition in the Vienna Secession. He maintained a friendly relationship with Egon Schiele. From 1914 to 1918 Walde was in the military service with the Tyrolean Kaiserschützen, but he continued his studies during and after the war. Ultimately, however, Walde moved back to Tyrol, where he settled in Kitzbühel. He kept his contacts in Vienna and so he exhibited again in the Vienna Secession in 1920.
Other exhibitions followed and Alfons Walde also took part in various competitions. In addition to his painting career, Walde also worked as an architect. He received success and recognition in both areas, so he built the valley and mountain stations of the Hahnenkammbahn and a house for his family in Kitzbühel.
Many of the motifs that are typical today, such as going to church and other village scenes and of course his widely famous skier motifs and mountain farms, were created in his home region of Tyrol.
Walde was also successful with his graphic work: In 1932 he carried out the order to design the first official Tyrol poster. From the 1930s onwards he distributed his art with his own publishing house as art prints and postcards.
During this time, the first of numerous copies from other hands, imitations, and forgeries, which Walde was already taking legal action against, but which still appear on the market again and again today, were made.
Alfons Walde's erotic work is less well known, he created numerous nudes, not a few of which have only recently been published.
With the economic difficulties of the Second World War, the success subsided somewhat, but Alfons Walde remained active, successful, and respected - in 1956 he was awarded the title of "Professor". Alfons Walde was married three times and had a daughter and a son. Walde died after a long heart disease in his sister's house in Kitzbühel in 1958.