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 Karl Drerup  (1904 - 2000)

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Lived/Active: New Hampshire/New York / Germany      Known for: crafts, painting, art education, graphics

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
plaque depicting birds
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Karl Drerup (1904-2000)

Born in Borghorst, Germany in 1904, Karl Drerup earned a Master’s Degree in graphic arts working under Hans Meid at the Academy in Berlin in 1926.  He then traveled to Italy to study painting with Felice Carena at the Academy in Florence.  The political situation in Germany kept him from returning.  His journey, accompanied by his wife Gertrude, led him to Madrid and then to Canary Islands in 1934. He immigrated to New York City in 1937.

Already an accomplished painter, ceramist, and engraver, Drerup mastered enamel-making during his New York years and became a Charter Member of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen in 1945.

At mid-century, Drerup was pre-eminent in the field of enamel painting on metal.  He played a major role in re-establishing its popularity in the United States by rediscovering and applying a variety of techniques including multi-fired painterly renderings in wet charged glass, Cloisonne and Grisaille.

In 1941, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York began buying his enamels.  His works were subsequently purchased by many permanent collections throughout the world including:The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, The Museum of Fine Arts in Dallas, the State of New Hampshire's Living Treasures Collection and museums in Los Angeles, Wichita, Newark and the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1946 Drerup and his wife moved to Thornton, New Hampshire.  He immediately became active in the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts and served as a member of the League Council.  Two years later, he became Plymouth State College’s first art professor.  He said he would come to demonstrate for two days and stayed for twenty years.  In this capacity, he directly influenced many generations of practicing artists, craftspeople, and teachers throughout New England and the United States.

In 1986, after 18 years of retirement, the college named its art gallery after him and granted him an Honorary Doctorate.  Drerup set exacting standards for himself and his work.  His extensive knowledge of art history coupled with his conviction that his work should speak for itself, has contributed to the excellence of American Craft.  In 1995, Drerup became a Fellow of the American Crafts Council and in 1989 became a New Hampshire Living Treasure’s Award recipient.  Karl Drerup died at the age of 94 on November 22, 2000.

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Submitted by Griffin's Gallery 

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