German ethnologist, boss of the South American section of the Ethnographic Museum of Berlin, dedicated to study trips for America from 1900 until 1931, year when he arrived in Paraguay country to stay there, dedicating the twenty final years of his life to the scientific study of Paraguayan ethnography.
In his first trips (1901), he visited the area of Matto Grosso, central Brazil(Xinguanos) and high paraguayenses (Guatós, Guaná-Chanés).
His second expedition to Matto Grosso (1910) was dedicated to the archaeological studies of the high - paraguayenses mounds and ethnographical studies of the Paressis-Arawak.
In 1914 Schmidt did a new trip to South America, arriving in Paraguay and visiting the group Emok-Toba of Cerrito - Villa Hayes and a Kaynguá - Mbyá group of Eastern Paraguay.
In 1916 he presented his thesis of ethnology: "The Arawak", an important study ethno-cultural for the South American area; it embraces two fundamental topics: the cultural diffusion in the tropical forest area and the ethnic dispersion of the towns of neolithic culture.
In 1918 he was named professor of the Class of Ethnology of the University of Berlin and one year later, Director of the South American section of the Ethnographic Musum of Berlin.
In his third trip to Matto Grosso (1926) he took data on the first contacts with the Barbado- Umotinas, Iranches and Kayabies tribes, published in Spanish in the Magazine of the Scientific Society of Paraguay (1942). Very important is his study "Hallazgos prehistóricos en Matto Grosso y grabados rupestres" about archaeological gathering in the area of the High Paraguay river.
In 1929 he renounced to the Museum of Berlin, and he moved away from Germany, settling down in the proximities of Cuyabá.
In 1931 he accepted Dr. Andrés Barbero's invitation made him in his character of president of the Scientific Society of Paraguay, to assume the formation and direction of the Ethnography and History Museum, today Ethnographic Museum "Andrés Barbero".
He was devoted to the Guarani archaeology; his study "Nuevos hallazgos prehistóricos del Paraguay" refers to his excavations in the neighbouring areas of Asunción and in the riverside of the river Paraguay.
In 1935, when concluding Chaco´s War, Dr. Schmidt organized an ethnographic expedition to Chaco, supported by Dr. Barbero, to visit the different tribes that were displaced by Bolivian invasion, to pick up ethnographical material and to perform some studies among the Izozó - Chanés, Matacos, Chiriguano - Guarani and Tapietés. He returned with a thousand of ethnographical objects and photographic material.
Schmidt also picked up documental tests to identify the modern Makás.
In 1948 it was inaugurated, for the first time in Paraguay, the class of Ethnology -in the incipient Philosophy School of the National University of Asunción- occupying it the Prof. Dr. Max Schmidt. The Anthropological Studies Center of the Philosophy School of the National University of Asunción, conferred in the year 1950 to its parlour the name "Dr. Max Schmidt".
His retailer studies on the culture of the the indians from the Chaco, mainly, are a great contribution to Paraguayan ethnography.
He was dedicated to the Ethnographic Museum "Andrés Barbero" until his death, happened in October of 1950, few months after his great friend's death, the Dr. Andrés Barbero. (www.museobarbero.org.py, 2010-06-16)