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The Life of Franz Mayer: Business Man

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image of Franz Mayer and his wife at their wedding

Franz Mayer 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.

In addition 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.

Franz Mayer 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 a boutonniere.



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