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 William Oberhardt  (1882 - 1958)

About: William Oberhardt
 

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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey      Known for: portrait-prominent persons, illustrator

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BIOGRAPHY for William Oberhardt
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Birth
1882 (Guttenberg, New Jersey)
 
Death
1958 (North Pelham, New York)

Lived/Active
New York/New Jersey

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portrait-prominent persons, illustrator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for his portraits and special skills at delineating the human head, William Oberhardt, nicknamed Obie, was a popular artist in the early 20th Century. It is written that one of the reasons his portraits were so well received was that he relaxed his sitters with "his own warm personality" which, in turn, "relaxed and charmed his subjects". (Reed 188).

Many of his portrait subjects were highly prominent, and he laughingly said that unbeknownst to them, he willingly would have paid them to have his name associated with their faces. Among his subjects were Presidents Taft, Harding and Hoover; Thomas Edison, Sergei Rachmanioff, Luther Burbank, Ezio Pinza, Cardinal Spellman, Bernard Baruch, Charles Dana Gibson, Joseph Pennell and Walter Lippmann.

Although he painted formal portraits in oil, charcoal, crayons and lithographic crayon were his favorite mediums. His lithographs included western subjects with cowboys.

Special recognition came to Oberhardt when he was selected as the portrait illustrator for the first cover of "Time" magazine, March 3, 1923. He also did numerous portrait sketches during World War II of soldiers at various hospitals.

William Oberhardt was born in Guttenberg, New Jersey and studied at the National Academy of Design from 1897 to 1900, and then studied in Munich with Carl Von Marr at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. He worked most of his career in New York City and lived in North Pelham, New York. Oberhardt was a member of the Society of Illustrators and the National Academy of Design.


Sources include:
Walt Reed, "The Illustrator in America"
Peggy and Harold Samuels, "The Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West"

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