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 Carl Buergerniss  (1877 - 1956)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey      Known for: landscape, genre, portrait, mural

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Ad Code: 4
Carl Buergerniss
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by Leigh F. W. Murphey, legal representative of the works of Carl Buergerniss:

Carl Buergerniss was born in Philadelphia in 1877 and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  He exhibited at the Academy from 1901 to 1930.  Despite his talent, it seems he relied more on his ability as a musician to provide a living.
Married in 1905, he taught piano, played the organ in the German Lutheran Church in Philadelphia and, in 1913, spent the summer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a hotel pianist.
During the Great Depression in the '30s, Buergerniss, like many other artists, got a job with the Index of American Design, the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.  The thousands of paintings produced now are preserved at the National Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institute.  He also did murals, depicting WPA workers in their labors and commissions for public buildings and churches.
Buergerniss first came to Island Heights, New Jersey, with his wife, Ella, before 1908, staying at "Columbine" cottage on the Camp Meeting Grounds.  In 1910 he bought property on Summit Avenue and built a cottage, "Iris", where he spent summers until he moved permanently to Island Heights in 1954, two years before his death.
He had a broad range of artistic talent, working in oils, watercolors, pen and ink, and pastels.  Most of his fine oil seascapes were done during the summers at Island Heights, often around Goose Creek on Barnegat Bay.  He painted his children as they played by the water and did numerous sensitive portraits of his wife and/or the children.  The rest of the year he painted rural scenes of old farmhouses, outbuildings, and colorful landscapes in the Westmont, N.J. area, as well as additional portraits of his children and his wife.
Buergerniss was a member of the Academy Fellowship and is listed in Fielding's Directory of American ArtistsWho's Who in American Art in the late '30s called him "a draftsman, muralist and painter".

Biography from Jim's Of Lambertville:
Carl Buergerniss was born in Philadelphia December 30, 1877 where his father maintained a photography studio.  In 1894, Carl enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at the age of 17.  He remained at the Academy for four years and gained such a reputation for his ability that he was invited to join the Academy Fellowship.  Buergerniss exhibited over thirty oils and watercolors from 1903 to 1956 in the important annual Pennsylvania Academy exhibitions. He was also a member of the Artist Union in Philadelphia.

In 1905, Carl Buergerniss married Ella Clemmings, whose family had been instrumental in the early development of Seaside Heights, New Jersey.  In the summer of 1906 or 1907, Carl and his wife first came to the nearby community of Island Heights and took up residence at the Columbine Cortage on the Camp Meeting grounds.  In 1910, they purchased a home of their own in Island Heights, which they named "Iris Cottage."

The Depression of the 1930s was devastating for most artists, including Buergerniss. However, his participation in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and particularly its subdivision, the Fine Arts Project, gave him the necessary income to provide for his family during these difficult years.

Carl Buergerniss worked in watercolor and oil.  His favorite painting location was the Goose Creek area on Barnegat Bay, just north of Seaside Heights, where he would often take his family to picnic while he painted.  Another favorite spot was his home, "Iris," where the colorful gardens served as fine subjects.

Carl Buergerniss died on November 17, 1956. I t was said of him, that of the more than 250 artists who made their homes or summered at Island Heights, that Carl Buergerniss was among the very best.

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