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 Frank Paul Sauerwein  (1871 - 1910)

About: Frank Paul Sauerwein
 

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Lived/Active: Colorado/Arizona/California/New Mexico/Connecticut      Known for: landscape, Indian figure and genre painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Cantonville, New Jersey, Frank Sauerwein, during a short lifetime of thirty-nine years, became a specialist of western scene painting including Southwest Indians in their landscape. "Had he not died in 1910, he likely could have become the seventh founding member of the Taos Society of Artists" ('Frank Paul Sauerwein', Grauer, Harrison, Holmes).

From the time he was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy, he signed his last name "Sauerwen," although Sauerwein is the correct spelling.

He was raised in Philadelphia and had his first art lessons from his European trained father, Charles Sauerwein (1839-1918). Frank studied at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Philadelphia Museum School of Art from where he graduated in 1888.

In 1891, he moved to Denver because of his tuberculosis, and the dry climate there much improved his health.  In the summer of 1893, he accompanied illustrator Charles Craig on a trip to the Ute Reservation of Southwestern Colorado.  From that time he roamed the Southwest for painting subjects, although he based himself in California.

He grew to love Arizona, staying at El Tovar Hotel at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and in 1900 on the Navajo Reservation. He became a close friend of Lorenzo Hubbell, well-known trading post operator at Ganado, and spent much time at Keam's Canyon where he made many sketches of the Navajo and Hopi Indians.

In 1901, he taught at a private girls's school in Denver, and then moved to Los Angeles later in the year. I n 1902, he returned to Taos, New Mexico, and Arizona, providing illustrations of U.S. Hollister's 1903 book, The Navajo and His Blanket.

In late 1902, he moved to Pasadena, California but continued to spend his summers in the Southwest, traveling to the Grand Canyon, Acoma, Laguna, Albuquerque, and Taos.  In 1905, he traveled in Europe for about six months, and he exhibited his watercolors from this trip in Los Angeles in 1906.  He also exhibited his paintings, European and western, in San Francisco, Kansas City, Missouri, and Tempe, Arizona.

In October, 1906, he purchased in Taos an eight-room adobe adjacent to the home of Dr. T.P. Martin, and today parts of the Taos Inn are located in Sauerwein's property.

By January, 1907, his battle with tuberculosis was very taxing on him, and, giving into ill health, he retreated briefly to Los Angeles.  However, he recovered sufficiently to travel back to Arizona and New Mexico where he returned to painting the Indian pueblos and reservations.  In Taos, Dr. T.P. Martin's wife, Janet, cared for him, and she also traveled with him to Arizona.  When he died in 1910, he left her his property in Taos.

Too ill to continue painting, he moved to Stamford, Connecticut where he died June 13, 1910.  Upon his death, Sauerwein had requested his ashes be spread in the Painted Desert of northeastern Arizona.

In 1911, Taos painter Bert Phillips wrote an essay on the Taos Art Colony and authored these words about Sauerwein: "Just as his hand and mind had reached their power and when his art gave forth the fruit long promised, Death took his brush and palette from his hand. Now his ashes are blown by the winds that sweep the deep recesses of nature's masterpiece of sculpture and color - the Grand Canyon of the Colorado" (Frank Paul Sauerwein, Grauer, Harrison, Holmes).

Sources:
Grauer, Harrison, Holmes, Frank Paul Sauerwein,
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted by Steve Holmes, relates to Frank Sauerwein and the Grand Canyon.


Several of Sauerwein’s Grand Canyon paintings are known.  One, an oil, in the Judge Hamlin Collection, titled View of Grand Canyon, is of a trail in the foreground, rather dark, with the bright canyon walls in the distance.  A watercolor as well as an oil, both field sketches, were once in the collection of W.D. Hollister of Denver.  The former Emory Kolb, a noted photographer and rafter of the Grand Canyon, previously owned an oil painting by Sauerwein; the view is of Hopi or Rowe Point, about 600 feet below the rim.

The last letter Sauerwein wrote the Mareans from Grandview, Arizona in 1906 was a brief note, dated July 12, referenced as letter 10, in which he mentioned his continued painting of Grand Canyon scenery, a trip into the desert and the possibility of a visit to Denver late in the year.

In 1911 Bert Phillips authored an essay describing the Taos Art Colony, in which he included then-deceased Sauerwein along with all of the Taos founders (except Dunton, who did not visit Taos until 1912).  Phillips’ observations were succinct.  Almost across the street from the studio of [Bert Phillips] stands the home of Frank Sauerwein.  There that younger painter, a man of fine talent, enthusiasm and lover of Indian life came to finish the last of his life’s work a few years after he had crossed that difficult bridge that brings one into the land of ‘The artists who have arrived.’ Just as his hand and mind had reached their power and when his art gave forth the fruit long promised, Death took his brush and palette from his hand. Now his ashes are blown by the winds that sweep the deep recesses of nature’s masterpiece of sculpture and color – the Grand Canyon of [the] Colorado [River].  Sauerwein only caught a few of the poems of color that his associates are still recording but [his paintings] have their own individuality and charm which will have their place in the grand total that will sum up the work of the ‘Taos Colony’ and his influence will live on until the finish.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Yonkers, NY (or Cantonsville, NJ) on March 22, 1871, the son of painter Charles D. Sauerwein. Raised in Philadelphia, the younger Sauerwein studied with his father and at the PAFA and Philadelphia School of Industrial Art. After his art training he moved to Denver where he was active until the turn of the century. About 1902 Sauerwein moved to Los Angeles where he painted several mission scenes. After becoming ill with tuberculosis, he moved to Taos, NM in 1906. The last few months of his short life were spent in Stamford, CT where he had gone for a cure. He died on June 14, 1910. Many of his paintings were signed Sauerwen (without the "i"). The majority of his work is composed of western landscapes and the culture of the Pueblo Indians. Exh: Ruskin Art Club (LA), 1902-04; Steckel Gallery (LA), 1906; Blanchard Gallery (LA), 1906. In: Orange Co. (CA) Museum; Museum of NM; Santa Fe Railroad; Southwest Museum (LA); LACMA.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Samuels); Artists and Illustrators of the Old West (Robert Taft); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); American Western Art (Harmsen); NY Times, 6-15-1910 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Thomas Nygard Gallery:
Frank Paul Sauerwein (1871-1910)

Frank Paul Sauerwein was born in 1871 and raised in Philadelphia, the pupil of his father, Charles D. Sauerwein, a portraitist and genre painter who studied in Europe. Frank Sauerwein first studied at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art, then at the Pennsylvania Academy, and finally at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sauerwein moved to Denver about 1891 because of ill health. In 1893 he began to sketch Indians in the Rockies. Within two years his subjects were mostly western landscapes and Indian life. He was in Colorado Springs in 1893, traveling with Charles Craig to the Ute Reservation. After a trip to France and Spain, he returned West, visiting Taos in 1899, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe in 1900, and Taos in 1902 and 1903. Next he resided in California for a brief time. Then in 1906 he moved to Taos where he purchased a house and lived for two years. Stricken by tuberculosis and too ill to paint, he went to Connecticut to find a cure.

Sauerwein was an important painter in the West during his time. He painted both oils and watercolors and favored naturalistic, tightly drawn landscapes, which are at the same time atmospheric and even lyric. He was known as a competent, straightforward naturalistic recorder of the landscape and Indian life. Frank Sauerwein died a young man in his late thirties in 1910 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
Frank Peters Sauerwein
Born: Baltimore, Maryland 1871
Died: Stamford, Connecticut 1910

Western realistic painter

He was brought up in Philadelphia, the pupil of his father, Charles D Sauerwein, who studied in Europe and was living in Baltimore in 1871. Sauerwein studied at Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts, then Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sauerwein moved to Denver about 1891 because of tuberculosis. In 1893 he began to sketch Indians in the Rockies. He was in Colorado Springs in 1893, traveling with Charles Craig to the Ute Reservation. After a European trip he visited Taos in 1899, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe in 1900, Taos in 1902 and 1903. He apparently lived in California in 1905, then from 1906 to 1908 resided in Taos where he bought a house. Too ill to paint, he went to Connecticut to attempt a cure. Sauerwein was an important painter in the West of his time, a most competent, straightforward, and naturalistic recorder of the landscape and of Indian life.

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

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Frank Sauerwein is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Taos Pre 1940
Western Painters
Painters of Grand Canyon

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