Karl Heinz Marquardt was born in Hamburg, Germany and from early childhood had a strong affinity with ships. His father was a mariner, marine artist, war artist and model-maker whose works were in many German museums.
During the Second World War, Karl Heinz served with the German Navy and afterwards with the British-led German Minesweeping Administration, then in 1948 he and his father started a small studio for the restoration of artifacts and construction of new exhibits for war-torn museums. Karl Heinz created and restored models for twelve prestigious museums in Europe, corporate and private clients and shipyards in Germany and Finland. During the 1950s he also began writing on maritime matters and creating models plans and kits for amateurs for the leading German model company.
In 1966 Karl Heinz came to live in Australia, where he worked for General Motors Holden, leaving in 1982 as Chief Modeller. He then took a position as Honorary Curator for Ship Models and Paintings at the Melbourne Maritime Museum and was also a Valuer of Ship Models for the Taxation Incentive Scheme for the Arts. Throughout these years, he continued his interest in historic ships and created several paintings for the Museum; he also researched and drafted plans for the replica of the schooner ‘Enterprize’.
When the Reserve Bank of Australia was planning commemorative plastic bank notes, Karl was asked to supply maritime drawings; ‘HM Brig Supply’ is on the commemorative $10 note and his Schooner ‘Mercury’ on the $20 note. He also did some advisory work for Australia Post and drafted model drawings of ‘HMS Nelson’ for the Australian War Memorial.
Karl Heinz is a foundation member of the Australian Society of Marine Artists and was made an Honorary Member of the Russian Guild of Ship Modellers for “his outstanding contributions to international ship modelling”.
Over fifty maritime articles in German, British, Australian and US journals as well as several German and English-language books including the world-standard textbooks ‘Eighteenth-Century Rigs & Rigging’ 1992 and ‘The Global Schooner’ 2002. He has also prepared an e-book featuring his own and his father’s maritime art.