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 Henry Koerner  (1915 - 1991)

About: Henry Koerner


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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania / Germany/Austria      Known for: celebrity portrait painting, war posters, magic realism

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Henry Koerner
Henry was one of my instructors at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 1972-1974. He was passionate in his teaching and would always make his classes fun and interesting. I always felt bad for the models - he would ask them to wear the most ridiculous masks and costume get ups -bald heads, clown noses, etc. However, they were some of my best renderings! We would then go to historic parts of Pittsburgh, like Union Station, and put in the background for the figure drawings - very unique! I greatly appreciated Henry's method of teaching. On one field trip, he had a coughing spell and accidentally spat on my drawing. He casually smeared it across my drawing, signed his name and wrote A+ across the bottom, as if he had just put the important finishing touches on an unfinished piece of art. Some things in life are not that important. He later gave me a signed preliminary sketch of a portrait he was about to begin of a banker - Mr. Grapsky (sp-?). The fast and loose stokes of the black felt -tip sketch captured all that was necessary. I have that sketch framed in my home and it always takes me to the time when I learned that art was fun!


Henry Koerner
Henry was not one of my professors at (AIP),I was out drawing with my class at the time and stopped Henry giving instruction to his students with great energy and passion that I then sat in on his class and would visit with him as often as I could catch him.He would alway ride his bike filled with supplies working as he teached.My greatest visit was the time he showed me his portfolio of earlier works that were all comcerial designed and formated.He stated that if you wanted to draw a picture that you should just us a camara your drawing must have feeling and envoke emotion.He didn't start really painting until he was around 50 years old he better understood the full circle of life by then.I'll alway appreciate the great wisdow and understanding he give to me on a personal level.


Henry Koerner

Henry was one of my professors at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1983. His ability to energize and influence everyone around him was unmatched. I recently framed a signed poster of one his paintings and have been remembering the work he inspired me to complete.

Thomas Kavanaugh

Henry Koerner
My father worked at Arthur Andersen in Pittsburgh from 1977 until 1996 and there was a huge Henry Koerner painting above the stairwell between the 21st and 20th floors. Does anyone know what happened to this painting after Arthur Andersen went under? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Matthew Hallsworth

Henry's Daughter: Stephy
Stephanie Koerner is currently my Art History lecturer at the University of Manchester. She recently gave a very moving speech about her father's work at the Nuremberg trials, and often discusses Henry's work as well as the genius of her brother, which we are all now becoming familiar with.
I would be happy to pass on any well-wishes.

Randall Carlson

my cousins' husband
My memory is sketchy, but I remember talking with Henry around 1970 in Escanaba, Mich. at my Aunt Millys house. His wife Joan is my cousin. I had just came back from Viet Nam and he was very interested in the war. I wish I would have paid more attention. .....Randy

Ann Schubert

Remembering Henry
We moved to Pittsburgh in 1964; my family spent most Sundays at Henry's house. His wife, Joan, baked amazing authentic Austrian pastries. My dad, just as short as Henry, would sit with him and the two would read German poetry aloud, with Henry's expostulations and comments adding character to the works. Henry was distressed by my mother...always admonishing her to "Sit, Mary, Sit...too tall!!!!" Henry drew a portrait of me and my first item which I foolishly disposed of upon our, however, in my mother's box of old postcards, I found a little ink sketch, watercolored, mailed to our family from Austria back in the 60's. He had painted it on a postcard or made it into a card; and wrote a note about some 16 panel painting he was working on at the time. It's been a long time since I had thought about those addition to the rabbit, Henry was fond of his little chihuahua, named Piglet II...Piglet I came to a sorry end when a larger dog made a snack of him! I used to marvel at how Piglet would climb the steps to the third floor of the house...the risers were open and I always worried that the little creature would fall thru. It was nice to find this site and see that Henry is remembered even now, and I am not alone with my old recollections!

Dana Farnswoth

Henry Koerner
He was a teacher of mine at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Always a creative, oddly interesting and detached man, he always made an impression on me. That was in 1985-1986 and I still remember his teachings more vividly than any other instructor. A true artist.

marilyn gursha

henry koerner
I was friends with Henry's daughter Stephanie but lost touch in 1972. Modeled for Henry a couple of times and fondly remember the family (and their pet rabbit).I would like to reconnect ,and am saddened to read of henry's passing.

susan besko

henry koerner
Seeking info on painting:

"fire on the beach"

susan besko

henry koerner
"fire on the beach"

does anyone know where
this was painted or where
I can obtain a print?

Milne Wilmoth

Henry Koerner's
I am just beginning a search to find a print of this painting.Mr Koerner used several of my relatives in several
of his works.Two of the three models for this particular painting were
my grandmother and her baby grandson, me.
My grandmother lived on Murray Hill Ave. and
Ann Moores and Henry Koerner were friends.
I would like something of this painting more than the
likeness of it from Time
magazine of 1959.

Julia Carroll Tamblyn

Henry Koerner
I studied under Henry Koerner at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1977-78. He would take us out and about Pittsburgh to draw the urban landscape. I would describe him as eccentric, funny and warm. He was indeed a most interesting fellow.

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