Karl Junker was born in the city of Lemgo. After his vocational training to become a carpenter he moved to Munich to study art (Akademie der Bildenden Künste/ Academy of Fine Arts). In 1877/1878, he travelled through Italy on a study trip. Afterwards he moved back to his home town of Lemgo to live and work there as a painter and wood carver. During his lifetime, however, Junker’s artistic work was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm among art critics and fellow artists. The response towards the exhibition of his work in Berlin in 1914 (after his death) was ambivalent.
Only in the 1980’s were Karl Junker’s works re-discovered. Since several years, it is discussed as an example of “Outsider Art” and displayed in exhibitions across Germany and abroad.