Modernist art historian and reformer of art history. Meier-Graefe was the son of, Edward Meier, a civil engineer for the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Marie Graefe, (d. 1867) who died giving birth to him. He was born in Pesitza, Banat, Hungary [formerly Austro-Hungarian Empire; which is present-day Banat, Romania. The family moved to the Rhineland area of Germany; Meier-Graefe grew up near Düsseldorf, gaining his Abitur in 1879. As an adult, he added his mother's name to his in her memory.