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 Detlef Sammann  (1857 - 1938)

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Lived/Active: California / Germany      Known for: coastal view, landscape, genre

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Ad Code: 3
Detlef Sammann
from Auction House Records.
Waves Crashing Along the Carmel
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Detlef Sammann (1857- 1938)

Detlef Sammann was known as an interior decorator before he was recognized as a prominent figure in the California Impressionist movement in the early 1900's. Born in 1857, and raised in Schlewig, Germany, Sammann acquired painting experience working as a fresco painter in his youth. He attended the Industrial Art School in Dresden for four years and also gained notoriety as a decorator for the court in that same city. He immigrated to New York in 1881 where he worked as a decorator for a short time and was awarded commissions from the White House under President Benjamin Harrison.

In 1900 Sammann moved west to California for health reasons, settling in the town of Pasadena. He would eventually renounce his previous position as an interior decorator as he pursued a painting career. He created most of his works outdoors, painting landscapes and coastal scenes within California. Sammann and some of his contemporaries, Jack Stark, Helena Dunlap and William Wendt all utilized Impressionist elements in their work of that time. Critics often identified Sammann with the French Impressionists Monet and Manet.

In 1911 he exhibited with the California Arts Club in a show with other artists form Southern California that was held in the Blanchard Building in Los Angeles. He left Los Angeles in 1912 and moved to Pebble Beach, California into a house and studio that he designed. He returned to Dresden, Germany in 1921 and remained there until his death in 1938.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Westerhever, Germany on Feb. 28, 1857. Having beeen apprenticed to a local painter at an early age, Sammann began working as a fresco painter in Dresden while in his teens. While there, he was a pupil of Wilhelm Ritter for four years at the Industrial Art School. In 1881 he sailed to New York where he worked as an interior decorator and muralist. For health reasons, he migrated to California in 1896. For about two years he was active in San Diego and San Francisco but then moved to Pasadena. The many frescoes he painted in local residences are examples of the German rococo style. Upon retirement in 1912, he moved north to Pebble Beach and adopted an Impressionist style. Inspired by the local scenery, he painted landscapes, coastals, and marines. Sammann spent the war years in this peaceful place but, homesick for his native land, he returned to Dresden in 1921. He died there on May 25, 1938. Exh: Pasadena Art Union, 1896; Blanchard Bldg (LA), 1910; Calif. Art Club, 1911; Daniell Gallery (LA), 1911; SFAA, 1911-14; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1912; Friday Morning Club (LA), 1914; Exposition Park (LA), 1914; NAD, 1915; Golden Gate Park Memorial Museum, 1915, 1916; Panama-Calif. Int'l Expo (San Diego), 1916 (silver medal); Kanst Gallery (LA), 1916.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; Los Angeles Times, 11-26-1899; California Impressionism (Wm. Gerdts & Will South); American Art Annual 1915-17; California State Library (Sacramento); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Der Freiheitskampf , 5-29-1938 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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Detlef Sammann is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club

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