Ad Code: 4
Pirate Creek, Lubeck, ME, 16" X 20"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following biographical information, submitted May 2010, is from
Julie Steinhilber, granddaughter of the artist, Walter
Steinhilber. She writes: "I have many of his watercolors
that I inherited after he died as well as old sketches he did for his
newspapers and magazine covers." |
Highlights of his life are:
Born: 1897 and died 1983.
He was a New York Graphic artist, who for many years did editorial cartoons for the Weekly People and other Socialist Labor Party Publications.
earned his living in the 1920s as a commercial artist specializing in
hand lettering, and later taught design at Pratt Institute.
Steinhilber was several times a candidate for state and city offices on the Socialist Party ticket.
A feature article about him appeared in American Artist magazine/March 1960.
At the Maverick Theatre in Woodstock, NY, he performed as a actor and was a set builder
He painted hundreds of watercolors during his lifetime.
Steinhilber, of German emigrant grandparents, was born in Dolgeville,
New York, and brought as an infant to South Brooklyn, New York, where
he spent his childhood in the working-class neighborhoods of
Manhattan. The family lived in poverty, but he later became a
successful commercial* artist, cartoonist and watercolor painter.
For early inspiration, he credited an art book, Glimpses of the World by John L. Stoddard.
Steinhilber's styles were Impressionism* and Realism*, and many of his large-scale watercolors were completed outdoors on site, en plein aire*. Using pen and ink, and making many sketches, he created numerous cartoons and other commercial illustrations.
New York, he studied at the Mechanics Institute* and at the Art
Students’ League* with George Bridgman and John Sloan. As a young
man, he spent many summers at Woodstock, New York where he enrolled at
the Woodstock Summer School, an extension of the Art Students
League. Among his teachers were George Bellows, Eugene Speicher,
and Leon Kroll. Not only did he study painting,
but he acted in and produced plays and set designs for the Maverick
Theatre (There are a few pictures of this activity online courtesy of
the Woodstock Hudson Library). These concerts and plays were
the precursor of the famous ‘Woodstock’ Festival concert of August
Steinhilber began his art career as an apprentice to an
engraver*, becoming a journeyman, and then left that position to enter
the art department of the American Lithograph Company. In 1922,
he established his own private commercial art studio. For fifteen
years, he served as an instructor of commercial art and industrial
design at Pratt Institute* in Brooklyn.
Steinhilber also became
involved with politics through the Socialist Labor Party movement
during the 1930s, and this activity was reflected in his artwork with
themes of Social Realism or suppression of ordinary people.
During that time he produced many political cartoons, ads and magazine
covers for socialist publications such as The Weekly People, The Masses, and for Vanity Fair,
which had a broader audience. He became acquainted with Langston
Hughes and for the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, illustrated one of
Hughes' poems, Advertisement, which appeared as a full spread in Vanity Fair. An article called “The Water Color Page” in The 2nd International Travel Art Issue of American Artist magazine, March 1960, had a three-page interview with Steinhilber and a color plate of his watercolor painting, Quay at Mykonos, 16 X 20.
all of the demands of a busy career he found time for extensive
travel. His 'wunderlust' took him around the world. He
painted the 'high-spots' of thirty five countries on four continents
and exhibited in many of these places including Germany, Hong Kong,
Hawaii, and New England, primarily in New Hampshire and Maine. He
spent many winters doing watercolors in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico.
In Brooklyn, he was a member of the Clinton Hill Artists Group, painters led by New York artist Clinton Hill (1922-2003).
the 1970s and 1970s, exhibition venues included the Instituto Nacional
de Bellas Artes; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Brooklyn Savings
Bank arranged through Hicks Street Gallery; and a watercolor on display
at the Brooklyn Museum at one time as part of the Clinton Hill
Artists. In December 1980, an exhibition of his work was at the
Brooklyn College Student Center.
Walter Steinhilber died in January, 1983 in Brooklyn.
Note: As his granddaughter, I would tag along with him while he
painted... whether it was an Ohio farmhouse, a falling down silo, or
ship yard in Maine, his watercolors were fresh, inviting and done on
What I think makes him very interesting as an artist, is
not only his world traveling/painting experiences, but his political
activism. He was a free thinker, and although not many shared his
views on politics, there seems to have been a lot of interest in Red or
Komrade/Socialist artwork in recent months.
* For more in-depth
information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|