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 Rupert Schmidt  (1854 - 1932)

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Lived/Active: New York/California / Germany      Known for: sculptor-portrait, classical figure

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Egg, Bavaria, Germany, Rupert Schmid was a sculptor who was the son of a stone carver.  He studied at the Royal Academy in Munich, and in 1884, immigrated to the United States.  The next year he exhibited at the National Academy of Design, and by 1890 had settled in San Francisco where he established a studio and got many important commissions including the decorations for the Spreckels and Chronicle buildings as well as portraits busts of many prominent persons of San Francisco.

In 1891, he was on the Board of the San Francisco Art Association, and served as Director of the Mark Hopkins Institute.  In 1893, he had wide-spread acclaim for his sculptor of a female figure titled California Venus.  The next year he created the fountain for the California Midwinter Expo.

Schmidt lived in San Jose from 1902 to 1903, and following the earthquake and fire of 1906, he traveled extensively including trips to Washington DC, Germany, Italy and Mexico.  He returned to San Francisco in 1913 to do commissions for the Panama Pacific Exposition including the Queen of the Pacific. He died in Alameda, California.

Artists in California, 1786-1940, by Edan Hughes
Note from Hugo Ostler: regarding the biography of the sculptor Rupert Schmidt.

Rupert Schmidt had been the uncle of my grandmother Juliane Schmidt. According to my sources in the end he used to live at 1038 Lincoln Ave, Alameda.  He was the son of a stonemason.

Let me give you some errors I figured out in his official biography :
According to the Birth-Certificate he was born on Sept. 16, 1854, not on Sept. 16, 1864

His place of birth is Egg/Bavaria/Germany not Munich as it says on some biographies

I'm really interested to learn more about the life and work of Rupert Schmidt and hope you can get me some more information and sources where I can find information especially about his work.

Hugo Ostler

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The son of a stone mason, Schmid studied at the Royal Academy in Munich before sailing to America in 1884.  The following year he exhibited a bust at the NAD and by 1890 had settled in San Francisco.  After establishing a studio, he fulfilled many important commissions including decorations for the Spreckels and Chronicle buildings as well as portrait busts of Leland Stanford, Joseph LeConte, and other prominent San Franciscans.  In 1891 he was on the board of directors of the San Francisco Art Association and served as director and instructor at the Mark Hopkins Institute.  

In 1893 his female figure entitled California Venus brought him fame at the Chicago World's Fair and the next year he provided the California Fountain at the California Midwinter Expo.  Arthur Putnam was among his students in 1894.  The years 1902-03 were spent in San Jose.  After the earthquake of 1906, Schmid traveled extensively, working in Italy, Germany, Mexico, and Washington, DC.   In 1913 he returned to San Francisco to execute commissions for the PPIE including the colossal Queen of the Pacific.  Schmid died in Alameda, CA on Aug. 14, 1932.

Exh: Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1889-97; SFAA, 1890-1906; Calif. State Fair, 1891-96; World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893; Calif. Midwinter Int'l Expo, 1894; Calif. Artists, Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915. In: Golden Gate Park (U. S. Grant); St James Park, San Jose (McKinley); Oakland Museum; Stanford University (Memorial Arch); Alameda (Soldier's Monument).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
100 Years of Calif. Sculpture; American Sculpture (Stover); SF Chronicle, 8-21-1932 (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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Rupert Schmidt is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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