The Straub Family

Joseph Straub (1712–1756)

Joseph Straub was born in 1712 in Wiesensteig. Like his brothers, he probably received his first education as a sculptor in his father’s workshop. His whereabouts before 1736 are not documented, but it seems likely that he followed his brothers to Munich, Vienna, or Graz. After 1733, he most probably spent some time in the workshop of Philipp Jakob Straub in Graz. After his arrival to Ljubljana in 1736, he worked shortly with local sculptor Heinrich Michael Löhr. After some legal disputes, from 1738 to 1741, he was working for the parish church in Vipava and in some neighbouring localities (two statues in parish church in Štanjel are from 1741). Two years later, in 1743, he signed two of the statues on the Plague monument in Maribor, but his role in this commission remains disputed, while the lack of archival documents and deteriorated physical condition of the statues prevent a good reassessment of the monument. After that he remained in Maribor, married in 1746 and had a large number of commissions in Styria (and some in Croatia and Hungary as well) until his death in 1756. Joseph Straub probably always remained in good relations with his older brother Philipp Jakob in Graz and was his best man when Philipp Jakob married his second wife in Maribor in 1751. Among Joseph’s documented works the two most important were the main altars in the parish church in Studenci near Maribor (statues now in the Regional Museum Maribor) and in Minorite church in Ptuj (where only a part of the statues remain). The question of his evidently large and well organised workshop remains to be studied. After his death in 1756, Joseph Holzinger successfully took over Straub’s business.