Karl Albert Buehr
|Oil on Canvas|
|Image Size 25 x 30|
|Karl Albert Buehr (1866 – 1952) was born in Germany.
Buehr was born in Feuerbach - near Stuttgart. He was the son of Frederick Buehr and Henrietta Doh. He moved to Chicago with his parents and siblings in the 1880s. In Chicago, young Karl worked at various jobs until he was employed by a lithograph company near the Art Institute of Chicago. Introduced to art at work, Karl paid regular visits to the Art Institute, where he found part-time employment, enabling him to enroll in night classes. Later, working at the Institute as a night watchman, he had a unique opportunity to study the masters and actually posted sketchings that blended in favorably with student's work. Having studied under John H. Vanderpoel, Buehr graduated with honors, while his work aroused such admiration that he was offered a teaching post there, which he maintained for many years thereafter. He graduated from the Art Inst, of Chicago and served in the IL Cav in the Spanish American War. Mary Hess became Karl's wife -- she was a student of his and an accomplished artist in her own right.
In 1904, Buehr received a bronze medal at the St. Louis Universal Exposition, then, in 1905, Buehr and his family moved to France, thanks to a wealthy Chicago patron, and they spent the following year in Taormina, Sicily, where the artist painted local subjects, executing both genre subjects and landscapes as well as time in Venice. Buehr spent at least some time in Paris, where he worked with Raphaël Collin at the Académie Julian. Prior to this time, Buehr had developed a quasi-impressionistic style, but after 1909, when he began spending summers near Monet in Giverny, his work became decidedly characteristic of that plein-air style but he began focusing on female subjects posed out-of-doors. He remained for some time in Giverny, and here he became well-acquainted with other well known expatriate America impressionists such as Richard Miller, Theodore Earl Butler, Frederick Frieseke, and Lawton Parker. It seems likely that Buehr met Monet, since his own daughter Kathleen and Monet’s granddaughter, Lili Butler, were playmates, according to George Buehr, the painter’s son. His other daughter Lydia died before adulthood due to diabetes. He returned to Chicago at the onset of WWI and taught at The Art Inst for many years. One of his noted pupils at the Art Institute was Archibald Motley, Jr. the famous African American "Harlem" Renaissance painters. Motley credits Buehr with being on eof his his finest teachers and one who encouraged his style.
Buehr remained an expressive colorist, but broadened his brushwork somewhat in later years when impressionism waned. Back in America, he was immediately successful. He won a silver medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco and the Purchase Prize of the Chicago Municipal Art Commission in the following year. So famed was Buehr that had a one man exhibition at the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago in 1934.
After a long and exceedingly productive career, Karl Buehr died in Chicago at the age of eighty-six.
Karl's wife, Mary Hess Buehr, was born in Chicago in 1871. She was a painter who studied in Holland and France, and held three exhibitions at the Paris Salon. Mary specialized in miniatures and decorative paintings. She was also a lithographer, lecturer, and teacher active in Chicago. She died in Orwell, Vermont, in 1962.
Their children, Kathleen and George F. Buehr, were both artists as well. George, known for his watercolors and collages, was director of museum education and a lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago. He died in Chicago in 1983 at age 78. Kathleen was born in Chicago in 1902. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kathleen was painter and author. Several of her articles are found in the papers, including "My Most Unforgettable Character," published in 1969 in The Reader's Digest.
His nephew Walter Buehr was the author and illustrator of many children's books.
Walter Franklin Buehr May 14, 1897 - January 2, 1971
Walter Buehr was born in Chicago on May 14, 1897. After high school he attended several different art schools including the Art Students League of New York (where he later taught), the Detroit School of Design, the Philadelphia School of Industrial Arts, the Art Students League, and he also studied art in Europe.
He began a first sergeant in the first camouflage section of the U.S. Army Engineers during WWI and was awarded the active service medal.
He married Camilla Goodwyn, a portrait artist and fashion illustrator, in 1938. The two had three daughters, and at least five grandchildren. Two of his grandchildren lived in France & couldn't speak English, which made it very hard on a grandfather who spoke very little French!
Buehr had varied talents and interests. He designed furniture, was interested in ceramics, like to tinker with high fidelity systems, and loved sailing. He even lived on his boat during the summers and cruised both the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean. This hobby led to the writing of his first book - Ships and Life Afloat. He wanted children in the Midwest to be able to understand the terms used in stories about the sea, how the ships were rigged, how they operated, what the life of a sailor was like, etc.
His over fifty-six books, including four for adults, reflect his wide variety of interests, including sailing and the sea, medieval history, exploration, transportation, electricity, and more. His history books dealt with romantic eras full of knights, castles, galleys, and galleons.