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 Edgar Louis Yaeger  (1904 - 1997)

About: Edgar Louis Yaeger


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Lived/Active: Michigan      Known for: cubist still life, figure, mural painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Edgar Yaeger
1904 (Detroit, Michigan)


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cubist still life, figure, mural painting

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Biography from Cincinnati Art Galleries (Artworks under $10,000 #2):
Edgar Yaeger was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1904.  He is credited for being one of the first American modernists.  He was a prolific artist who mastered virtually every medium:  watercolor, oil, fresco, printmaking, mosaic, and woodcarving.  He also painted numerous commissioned murals for the Works Progress Administration during the Depression era.  As a young artist, Yaeger actively exhibited his work; in 1932, he won the Founder's Society Purchase Prize from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

He also was the recipient of the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Traveling Scholarship.  With this support, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, studying in France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany.  When he returned to the United States, he entered numerous juried exhibitions.  In the 1930 Carnegie International Exhibition, Henri Matisse was a member of the jury.  He admired Yaeger's sophisticated knowledge and application of color.  Yaeger recounted that "Cezanne helped me more than anyone- his use of color."  Picasso, Braque, De Chirico, and Rivera also helped inform Yaeger's style.   Yaeger's murals, paintings, and mosaic work earned him international recognition during his life time. 

The Kresge Art Museum currently holds 88 works by Yaeger, which include the preliminary sketches of his WPA murals.

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