Gustav Frederick Goetsch was born on a farm near Gaylord, Minnesota on 15 March, 1877. He was one of nine children of Ida Ardnt Goetsch and Heinrich Goetsch. By his mid- teens, his interest in art was firmly established.
When only 19 year old, after graduating from high school, he left the farm to study art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He earned his own way through school and in 1901 won a scholarship to the New York School of Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He then returned to Minneapolis to teach at the Minneapolis Institute of Art while acquiring funds for further study. In 1904 he began studies in Europe, primarily in Paris at the Academie Julian, with Blanch and J
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