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 Henry Raschen  (1854 - 1937)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: Indian portrait, figure and genre painting

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Ad Code: 2
Henry Raschen
from Auction House Records.
The Basket Makers of Mendocino
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ogdenburg, Germany, Henry Raschen became one of America's leading painters of Indian portraits and figures in the 19th and early 20th centuries and was the first California artist to be committed to Indian themes. He also painted still lifes and landscapes, the latter with skillful play of light and shadow.

In 1868, he and his family emigrated to Fort Ross, California where they spent one year and then settled in San Francisco. He took early art lessons at the San Francisco Art Association under Charles Nahl and Virgil Williams and also studied with noted figure painter of altar pieces, Joseph Harrington.

Feeling the need for more extensive training, he went to Munich in the late 1870s and became part of the numerous California artists then studying in Munich at that time. There he became friends and a painting companion of William Merritt Chase, and he also traveled in Italy and France.

In 1883, he settled in San Francisco and for the next eight years went with landscape painter Carl Von Perbandt on excursions among Indian tribes of California and the Southwest, and he gained much attention for the life-like quality of his paintings.

From 1890 to 1894, he lived and had his studio in Munich where he was a successful painter and teacher, and after returning to San Francisco, won the gold medal at the Munich Exposition of 1898.

He went on an expedition with Army General Nelson A. Miles when Miles and his troops captured Apache Chief Geronimo at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, 30 miles northeast of Douglas.  Many years later in Oklahoma, Raschen sketched Geronimo whom he visited in prison at Fort Sill.

In the early 20th century, a key person in establishing Raschen as a major artist in San Francisco was Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, mother of publisher William Randolph Hearst. In 1906, damage from the earthquake and fire caused him to move across the bay to Oakland where he painted until his death in 1937.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California 1786-1940
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, V:
Born: Oldenburg, Germany (or Mendocino County, California) 1854
Died: Oakland, California 1937

Important California Indian painter during 1880s.

Raschen immigrated with his family to Fort Ross, California in 1868. He was the pupil of Virgil Williams at the San Francisco Art Academy and was influenced by Charles Nahl. In 1875, he studied in Munich along with Chase and Shirlaw, the pupil of Loefftz, Streihuber, Barth, and Dietz. He traveled in Italy and France before returning to San Francisco in 1883. From 1883 to 1890 he specialized in Indian paintings based on California sketching trip taken with C. Von Perbandt, a landscape painter. In this peridod he accompanied General Miles on an expedition to capture Geronimo. From 1890 to 1894 his studio was again in Munich where he was a successful painter and teacher. After having come back to San Francisco in 1894, he won the gold medal at the Munich exposition in 1898. He visited Geronimo imprisoned at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Raschen moved to Oakland after the 1906 San Francisco fire. His California patron was Mrs. Phoebe Hearst.

It is said that Raschen was born in Mendocino County, California in 1857, that he was a member of the Bohemian Club until 1892, and that he painted Southwestern as well as California Indians before his death in 1938.

Resource: SAMUELS' Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing

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