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 Frederick William Sr. Kolde  (1870 - 1957)



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Lived/Active: Ohio / Germany      Known for: rural landscape painting, jewelry design

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Ad Code: 4
Frederick Kolde
An example of work by Frederick William Sr. Kolde
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frederick Wm Kolde was a Cincinnati, Ohio artist name listing that, treated as one person, likely refers to two men named Frederick Kolde, a father and a son. This assertion is verified by a check of the federal censuses for Hamilton County, Ohio.

The most detailed biography for Kolde, which appears in Falk's Who Was Who in American Art, describes him as a jewelry designer, craftsman, and painter. It also gives a list of his teachers, where he exhibited, and his affiliations.

The elder FWK was born in Breslau, Germany on 7 July 1870 and occupied as a jewelry designer in 1910, 1920, and 1930. The younger FWK was born on 29 March 1903 in Hamilton County, Ohio and was at home in 1910 and 1920, and occupied as a commercial artist living in his own home in 1930. Frederick William Kolde Sr. married Bertha Ott about 1901 in Hamilton County. He has not been located in Hamilton County, Ohio in 1900. He emigrated to the US in 1890.

Records at the Cincinnati Museum of Art (CMA) show that FWK Sr. attended the Cincinnati Art Academy, taking two classes between 1895-1897. FWK Jr. took preparatory and high school classes at the Cincinnati Art Academy and attended there full time from 1917-1920. Records do not indicate whether FWK Jr. graduated or not. It seems that biographers may have merged the accomplishments of the father and son.

The CMA research library  has little information for either man. They were able to report that FWK Sr. worked as a jewelry designer for 65 years and took up watercolor painting when he retired, painting mostly local scenery, some marines scenes, and portraits.

The author of this biography was fortunate to have been able to contact the Kolde family and FWK Jr.'s daughter-in-law was able to relate some very important information that makes it possible to identify the work of FWK Sr.  She confirmed that the information from the CAM and also that FWK Jr. limited his artistic career to commercial art, painting only a few watercolors which have never been shown and are in the possession of the family. This signature of FWK Sr. is very distinctive, the signature on the example shown is a very typical example.

Frederick William Kolde is mentioned in Mallett's Index of Artists, Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, and Falk's Who Was Who in American Art.

According to WWWAA, Kolde Sr. studied in Breslau, Germany and at the Cincinnati Art Academy. His teachers included Vincent Nowottny and Frank Duveneck. He was a member of the Cincinnati Crafters, Cincinnati Men's Art Club, and Ohio Watercolor Society. He exhibited at the Cincinnati Museum, Taft Museum of Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio Watercolor Society, and Philadelphia Watercolor Club. He worked as a jewelry designer for Fox Brothers and Whitehouse Brothers in Cincinnati and created chalices for St. Peter's Cathedral and St. William's Church in Cincinnati. Vincent Nowottny died in 1897, so it is safe to say that FWK Sr. was his student. Frank Duveneck died in 1919 and taught at the Cincinnati Art Academy during the times that both Koldes attended there. There is no record of the younger Kolde working as a jeweler. Some of the information in WWWAA could be for either man or for both. More research is needed to accurately credit father and son for their accomplishments.

The elder FWK died 19 March 1957 and the younger FWK died on 11 December 1993 in Cincinnati. Works by Kolde are still fairly common, so must have been very prolific.

Researched, written and submitted by Kevin Daniel, University of Illinois graduate student of Library and Information Science with a focus on art Cataloging.

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