He was born in Mühlburg near Karlsruhe and studied in 1893–1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe under Ferdinand Keller, Gustav Schönleber and Leopold Graf von Kalckreuth.
Max Frey moved to Frankfurt in 1904 and later in 1906 to Dresden. In 1907, he became a teacher in graphic design and painting at the Dresden Academy of Arts and Crafts and was appointed a Professor in 1910. His students included Hans Grundig, Willy Wolff and Oscar Cahén.Max Frey was a member of the Deutscher Künstlerbund and the Dresden Art Cooperative. He also was a founding member of the artists' group Grün-Weiß and the Dresdner Künstlergruppe 1913.
Max Frey died in Bad Harzburg on 11 March 1944. He was buried at Urnenhain Tolkewitz, Dresden.Wikipedia