Nicholas Lenz was born near Port Washington, WI in 1890. He attended Port Washington High School and later received art training from the School of Applied Art in Battle Creek, Michigan. Moving to Milwaukee he continued working as a painter and studied under Friedrich Wilhem Heine and Julius Segall. During World War I he served in France and briefly attended an art school in Le Mans.
From 1919 to 1961 Lenz owned Lenz Art Studio at 4003 W. North Ave. in Milwaukee where he worked as a painter and art dealer. He is known for his landscapes, portraits, and genre scenes, which have been sold throughout Wisconsin. In addition, he has done extensive work as a pen and ink illustrator. Today his son, Tom Lenz, manages Lenz Gallery on West Pittsburgh Street in Milwaukee.
Nicholas Lenz, also known as Nick or Nic, is listed in Wright’s Milwaukee City Directory 1882-1952 as a professional studio artist and also in the German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary by Peter C. Merril. Lenz’s portrait of Captain James Duane, which was painted while in the Army, is exhibited at the Historical Society of Boston, Massachusetts. His work was also exhibited by the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors at the Milwaukee Art Institute.