Monday, March 19, 2012

Lake County Mini Profiles - Willoughby Hills' Carl Gaertner

Carl Gaertner (1898-1952) was a 20th century 'Realist' painter whose artworks provided a unique glimpse of the early Cleveland Industrial landscape.  Carl studied at the Cleveland School of Art from 1920-1923.  He also taught at the School of Art since renamed The Cleveland Institute of Art from 1925 until the time of his death in 1952.  His themes included industrial subjects with Cleveland as the backdrop, Provincetown , Massachusetts, West Virginia (watercolors and oils), and Chagrin Valley paintings.  Gaertner purchased a farm in the Chagrin Valley in 1935 and created many of his famous drawings, paintings, sculptures, and prints while there.

Three of his paintings are on display in the Akron Museum of Art.  One is titled 'Riverside Plant' from 1928.  It was featured that year at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  A second piece on display is 'Summer Kitchen' done in 1947.  The third work in the collection was a 1945 piece called ' Commuter'.

Gaertner was featured in gallery exhibitions.  His works were displayed in many famous museum venues including ones in Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, and Pennsylvania.  'Flying Ponies', a painting of the carousel from the famous Cleveland landmark Euclid Beach Park and 'Popcorn Man' were two celebrated works appearing at those exhibitions.

Lake County may be Ohio's smallest county, but once again it proves to be large in history.   Carl Gaertner is just another hidden gem in the history that is Lake County.

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