1881 (Cleveland, Ohio)
1975 (Pebble Beach, California)
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landscape and genre painting, printmaking
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Painters of Grand Canyon
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ferdinand Burgdorff studied at the Cleveland
School of Art and in Paris with Rene Menard and Florence Este. In
1907, he headed West with the intention of becoming a desert landscape
painter. He lived in box cars with railroad builders on the
stretch of line between Yuma and Calexico and traveling by wagon or
horseback, accompanied surveyors on many trips into the desert.
Of this time he wrote: "There were such exciting things to see and
paint, undisturbed by a single human within miles" (Widening Horizons). |
also worked for a period in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he painted the
sandy wastes near Albuquerque in the region known as the Sandia.
He then moved to California where he was an illustrator for The Sunset magazine, then a new publication. Many of the paintings he had made earlier were reproduced in this magazine.
California, he first lived in Carmel where he was an active member of
the Carmel Colony. He later settled in nearby in Pebble Beach,
building a home on Rondo Road. In 1911, he took an exhibition of his
desert paintings back to his home town of Cleveland, and sold enough to
finance a two-year trip around the world. His main objective was
to see Greece and Egypt because they were ancient desert worlds.
He also painted along the Nile, which reminded him of the Colorado
When he died, he was the oldest working artist on the
Monterey Peninsula, having painted many coastal views and abandoned
mining towns in pastel, oil and watercolor. From 1907 to 1924, he made
numerous painting trips to the Grand Canyon and the Hopi Reservation in
Arizona. His work was both realistic and romantic, conveying a
sense of mystery and drama in his landscapes.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Ed Ainsworth, Widening Horizons, Painters of the Western Desert
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