(1918 - 2003)
Jack Pohr was active/lived in Colorado / Poland. Jack Pohr is known for impasto modernist painting, celebrity portraits, floral still life and landscapes.
Biography from Willow Creek Collectibles
Jack Pohr was born September 19, 1918 in Kiev Russia. His given name was Jakiw Pohrebynsky. It is not known at what point he changed his name, but it was probably after leaving Europe and migrating to America. His family, of Russian Aristocracy, was forced to flee Russia shortly after his birth to escape the dangers and ravages of the Russian Revolution.
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The family settled in Poland where Jack grew up and eventually studied art. It was apparently during this time that he learned his distinctive, heavy impasto, or "raised paint" technique that he used on many of his works throughout his life. The technique involved building up the paint in certain areas of his paintings for emphasis and in so doing giving an almost dimensionality to his work. The technique can look somewhat crude or "muddy" at close range, but become stunning when viewed somewhat farther away.
During World War II he met his future wife, Lisa Dworkina Tutmaison, who was also from aristocratic parents. Born in the Ukraine, she and her family fled Russia in front of the invading German army. In a Kansas City Times (1952) newspaper interview, Pohr described being interred in a Nazi concentration camp during the war. There he learned the violin and became so accomplished that he was able to save his life and avoid the gas chambers by playing his music for the entertainment of his German captors.
After the war, he and his wife left war-torn Europe and migrated first to Canada and later to the United States. They eventually settled in Manitou Springs, Colorado, near the scenic Garden of the Gods. There Jack had a studio where he painted and made his own frames. He and Lisa would at times travel extensively promoting his paintings.
Jack became nationally famous as a portraitist and landscape painter. His portrait commissions took him across the country to both coasts where his clients included many famous people, including Averell Harriman and President John F. Kennedy. Once reminiscing to a friend, he said that as he painted the president in the Oval Office, the president's small son, John-John, would come in and sit to watch him paint.
Pohr passed away in 2003 at the age of 84. His only son died of a stroke a year later, and his wife Lisa died shortly thereafter in January of 2006.
His works are held in the Denver Public Library and Colorado Springs Fine Art Museum as well as in private collections.
Colorado Springs Gazette; January 13, 2006; Obit. Lisa Pohr.
Kansas City Times, May 15, 1952
Pasadena Independent, January 1, 1968
Denver Public Library; short news clipping on portrait of Fredrick R. Ross painted by Pohr being presented to the Library
Bronze Hound Art Collection Blog
Personal communication, various sources
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