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 Lila B. Hetzel  (1873 - 1967)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: landscape, animal, interiors

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Landscape with farm house
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Roughton Galleries,Inc:
Lila B. Hetzel, the fifth and youngest child of the artist George H. Hetzel, was born October 23, 1873. She began her formal art education in the 1890’s at the Pittsburgh School of Design under Matin B. Leisser and D. B. Walkley. After four years of studying drawing, which was limited to anatomy, perspective and life, Lila began painting.

While at the Pittsburgh school, she won a Gold Medal for her paintings from nature. After graduation, Lila traveled to Europe to study and copy the Old Dutch masters. In 1956, she was quoted by the Pittsburgh Press: “I was influenced by Rembrandt’s use of light, Ruben’s color and Michelangelo’s force.” Her favorite artist was Rembrandt and that respect for the master’s technique shows up in her own work where design and balance are as important as color.

When Lila was 24, the Hetzel family moved to a farmhouse near Somerset, which became known as the Hetzel Studio. With her father, she painted and sketched from nature, doing landscapes of cornfields, rural bridges, and autumn foliage. After a brief marriage to William H. Kantner, and the birth of a daughter, Lila returned to Pittsburgh with her widowed mother and daughter, Dorothy. She opened a studio in the Apollo Building on Fourth Avenue, where the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh was organized in 1910. Lila was a charter member and the organization’s first treasure.

In Lila’s later years, she spent the winters in Pittsburg with her daughter, and from early spring until late fall she lived and painted alone on the family farm in Somerset. Many of her paintings of rural Americana were intimate portraits of the land that surrounded her home.

Lila Hetzel exhibited at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Arts and Crafts Center of Pittsburgh, Gillespie Galleries, Westmoreland County Museum of Art, and Jennerstown Art Gallery. Other exhibitions, including one-woman shows were held in Somerset, Ligonier and Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Lila B. Hetzel died June 4, 1967 at a nursing home in Somerset County, not far from the Hetzel Studio.

Always a professional painter, Lila Hetzel took a dim view of “art for art’s sake” theorists. Amid movements toward abstraction and non-figurative art, she continued to paint her nostalgic scenes called “Old Fashioned Corners,” she arranged articles found in interiors corners of her old home. Other paintings were tilted “Grandmother’s Garrett,” “Little Black Sheep,” “through Kitchen Door,” “Cornfield,” and Artist’s Garret.”

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