Gustav Kruell

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Gustav Kruell
Sir Walter Besant.jpg
Sir Walter Besant 1890
Born (1843-10-31)October 31, 1843
Düsseldorf, Germany
Died January 2, 1907(1907-01-02) (aged 63)
San Luis Obispo, California
Nationality German
Known for Founder of the American Wood Engravers' Society in 1881
Notable work "Rent Day", "Harriet Beecher Stowe", "Abraham Lincoln"
Spouse(s) Clara Kuhn Kruell

Gustav Kruell (October 31, 1843 – January 2, 1907) was a German-born wood engraver portrait artist.[1] He was also founder of the American Wood Engravers' Society in 1881.[1]

Early years[edit]

He was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on October 31, 1843. He studied art under Robert Brendamour. In 1873, at the age of 30, he migrated to the United States to go work in New York City for the leading periodicals.[2] The following year he was joined by his wife Clara Kuhn Kruell (of Stuttgart, Germany) and their two daughters, and sons Gustav born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1869 and Otto born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1871. They settled in East Orange, New Jersey.[3] Gustav, fell under the influence of the famed engraver W.J. Linton.

Exhibition history[edit]

1890, Kruell's first exhibit was at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, which included portraits of Charles Darwin and William Lloyd Garrison.[4]

1893, World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago), (medal)

1889, Paris Exposition

1901, Pan-American Exposition (Buffalo)(silver medal)

In April 1895, Kruell exhibited more than 200 works at the New York City's Keppel Gallery on East Sixteenth Street.[2]

1904, Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St Louis), (gold medal)

Later years[edit]

He died in San Luis Obispo, California, on January 2, 1907.

In 1929, Author Ralph Clifton Smith published a collection of Kruell works called "Gustav Kruell, American portrait engraver on wood".

Notable works[edit]

According to the art critics of the time, the portrait of Abraham Lincoln is considered Gustav Kruell's best work.[1]

Currently, the British Museum houses over 12 works by Gustav Kruell; including a self-portrait, a portrait of his own father, as well as portraits of Henry Waldstein, Mr. Kinglake, Auguste Rodin, Wendell Phillips Garrison, James Russell Lowell, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and scenes like; "A Fishmarket in Venice", "The Flight of Night", "The Discoverer".[5]

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts currently houses over 6 works by Gustav Kruell; including portraits of William M. Chase, and Walter Shirlaw.[6]