|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following is from Chris Walther.|
During his life, Robert
Herrmann chose never to show his art in public. He studied art,
art history and architecture at the University of Cincinnati,
University of Wisconsin (BA 1948), Ohio State University (MA 1949),
University of Iowa, and Columbia University (PhD program 1953-54).
He was drawn to Precisionism during these years, writing his masters thesis
in 1949 on "The Stylistic Development of Charles Demuth's Art." By the early
1950s, he began working in a simplified precisionist style, as well as an
abstract aesthetic. He continued to work in both styles through the late 1960s.
precisionist work is characterized by crisp and refined industrial and
urban scenes of New York, Cincinnati and Washington DC, all places he
lived for significant parts of his life.
Herrmann was well-rounded. In addition to painting, he dabbled in
photography, wrote poetry and spoke a five languages. Herrmann supported
himself by working as a librarian, translator and stock broker. He never
married nor had children.
Although Herrmann painted actively for at least two decades, it does
not appear he sold any of his work during his life. After his
death, his works were presented in a one-man show in Cincinnati, Ohio.
|Biography from Cincinnati Art Galleries (Artworks under $10,000):|
|Robert Herrmann hid his paintings from the public for over 40
years. In fact, nothing is known of his artistic life after his
years of formal education in both art and art history. Herrmann’s
architectural landscapes from the 50s and 60s reflect a comprehensive
and deeply felt knowledge of early Precisionist School painters Charles
Demuth and Charles Sheeler. Presumably, Herrmann would have been
greatly admired by his contemporaries and desirable to galleries.
Even so, he shunned all avenues to show his work. |
After his death, Herrmann’s confidante and sister, Marion Grasser,
called our gallery to see if we would have any interest in looking at
her brother’s paintings. We were thrilled to discover such a
magnificent body of work that had never been seen.
interest in Modern American Art, and the Precisionist School in
particular, dates back to undergraduate school where he was already
excelling in classes such as Architectural Drawing, Modern
Architecture, and the Development of American Art.
His post-graduate work included Baroque Art and Architecture, Oriental
Arts and Architecture, and Modern Art and Architecture. In the
doctoral program at Columbia University, Herrmann declared his major
interest to be Fine Arts and Architecture. Most telling of all,
he chose to write his Master’s Thesis (1949) on "The Stylistic
Development of Charles Demuth’s Art." Now, after years of silence,
Herrmann’s paintings have the opportunity to speak for themselves.
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