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 Eduard (Edward) Robyn  (1820 - 1862)

About: Eduard (Edward) Robyn


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Lived/Active: Missouri / Germany      Known for: lithographer-town views, panorama

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Eduard Robyn was born the second son of Diedrich Robyn, a cloth dealer of Emrich, Holland. Originally from France, Diedrich's ancestors had fled during the Inquisition and joined the Huguenot colony in Holland. At that time, the French name 'Robin' was changed to 'Robyn' (usually pronounced Ro-bine). Five of Diedrich's sons would make their way to the United States and St. Louis, arriving in 1837. They were William, Eduard, Henry, Carl, and Fritz.

Eduard Robyn opened a lithography shop at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in St. Louis. His lithographs generally consisted of western themes. Many Missouri scenes and town views were done inexpensively and therefore were easily obtainable by the common people. Among his surviving town views are those of Hermann, MO and Washington, MO. Robyn also became known for his panoramic works which were painted on long rolls, then slowly unrolled before an audience, usually accompanied by a running commentary. One such work, "A Tour of the Eastern and Western Hemisphere" is owned by the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis.

Robyn befriended fellow artist Carl Wimar who was well known for his Indian motifs. Together, it is believed, the two created murals for the old St. Louis Courthouse.
After developing tuberculosis, Robyn moved to an area known as "Dry Hill" south of Hermann, Missouri. He became a contributing member of the mostly-German society in Hermann. Upon his death, he was buried on his property at "Dry Hill" and lies in an unmarked grave.

In 1940, a group of sketches by Robyn were found in his former home near Hermann. They were published in the "St. Louis Post Dispatch" on March 31, 1940.
Robyn's work continues to inspire other artists as well as provide valuable information for historical researchers. His detailed renderings of buildings and streetscapes of the 1850s help to make the avenues to the past much easier to travel.

Much of the following information is found in a genealogical compilation called "Gasconade County Missouri, Vol. 1, 1979". Some information added by Marc Houseman, Museum Director, Washington (MO) Historical Society. Submitted April, 2004.

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