was born Franz Mayer Traumann in Mannheim, Germany in 1882. He
grew up in a traditional German family with Jewish roots with
a businessman father, a strict mother, and an older brother. The
young Franz Mayer was somewhat timid and shy. He did not attend
a university but did serve in the German army.
In 1901, determined
to start a new life, he moved to London and pursued a career in
business and finance. A restless young man, he learned from friends
and coworkers about more promising opportunities in the United
States and in 1903 moved to the New York city. There he worked
for Merrill Lynch until he learned of great business possibilities
in Mexico City. Having saved enough money, he traveled to Mexico
in 1905. Within a short time he was a registered stock broker,
working for the company today known as Bursamex. He showed great
skill and intelligence as a stock broker and, after years of hard
work, started his own business which became a leading financial
organization in Mexico.
to his passion for collecting art, Franz Mayer traveled the world
and devoted himself to photography. His photographs reveal his
passion for travel to distant places, a curiosity about the world,
and great technical skills. Although he did not consider himself
a professional photographer, his pictures achieve a high levelof
artistic quality. In addition to his own works, he built a small
collection of works by his colleagues, other Mexican photographers.
was also an avid gardener with a special interest in orchids.
He brought rare specimens back from his journeys and nurtured
them in his greenhouse. Over time, he built one of the most important
collections of orchids. He also cultivated carnations which decorated
his home. Every day, he selected a special carnation to wear as