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Arts

Clara Ascherfeld (10-31-1875 to 2-2-1963)
Ms. Ascherfeld was born in Havre de Grace Maryland and is of German ancestry.  She received her early music training from her mother.  She later studied in Europe under various teachers.  She studied at the Peabody Conservatory.  She was among the first to be appointed to the piano faculty, as a holder of a Peabody scholarship.  She was piano soloist with the Peabody Orchestra.  She taught accompanying and ensemble at the Peabody Conservatory and appeared as the official accompanist at the well know Friday afternoon recitals. 

 

It was her interest in brining fine music to the people at large that speaks of her contributions to the music life in her era.  She traveled through Maryland as a member of the Peabody Concert Company and played in many towns which, at the time, scarcely knew  music performances.  Her lifetime devotion was to the music of Bach (she had lived in Lübeck several years).  The Bach name appeared on practically all of her programs.


Ms. Ascherfeld is buried at Angel Hill Cemetery in Harford County.

 

Florence Elizabeth Riefle Bahr (2-2-1909 to 1-12-1998)

 

Florence, of German descent, was born in Baltimore City to parents James Henry Riefle and Florence Shafer. She was the great granddaughter of Henry Ferdinand Riefle, granddaughter of both Henry Francis Riefle and Jacob Conrad Shafer, and the niece of Norman T.A. Munder, a well-known Baltimore printer. Florence grew up in the Liberty Road/Park Heights neighborhood, and in her teenage years, the family moved to Homeland. She was the first daughter of six siblings, and though raised in a musically talented family, was encouraged to exercise her visually artistic eye at a youthful age.

 

Florence graduated from Forest Park High School in 1927 and attended Dickinson College for two years before switching to the Maryland Institute School of Mechanical Arts—now Maryland Institute College of Art ("MICA"). She went to both the Day and Night Schools there in 1930, graduating with a diploma in Costume Design, and became a post-grad with honors in 1931 with a diploma in Fine Arts, winning the James Young Memorial Prize and a tour of Europe. While at the Institute, she met another student (who was also her painting teacher), Leonard Bahr, to whom she married in 1934. During the "Depression Era" she worked for the Works Progress Administration, painting (among other commissions) a mural for the Harriet Lane Home for Children.

 

During WWII, the family lived in Florida -- both in [[Hollywood and Jacksonville, where Leonard was stationed. Returning to Maryland, and by June 1947 with three children, they moved from their home on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore City to "Edgewood Cottage," an historic house on Old Lawyers Hill Road in Elkridge, (Howard County) Maryland. By 1966, they had built a new house and studios on the same property.

 

Florence's ideas were expansive and her interests broad. She used pencil, charcoal, watercolor, pastel, oil, ink, woodcut, etching, lithography and assemblage, and her work reflected her daily life as well as life's larger challenges. From commissions of murals, children's portraits and book illustrations during the 1940s, a wind of change for her came by the mid-1950s. With civil rights and nuclear test issues arising, and basing her faith in Jesus Christ, she re-examined her values and priorities and used her talents to champion human rights, environmental issues, underprivileged children, anti-nuclear testing and anti-war causes.

 

Florence was bold by nature and not afraid to confront issues, though sensitive to the overwhelming negative projects she worked to change. She used her sketchbooks to record political marches and demonstrations, strikes, trials, and speeches, and eventually donated over 340 of those sketchbooks to the Maryland State Archives. She wrote numerous letters to all levels of government, challenging them to rethink their choices.

 

Florence's art has been exhibited widely and published in magazines, newspapers, and in book illustrations, and is owned by private and public collections in Germany, Japan and throughout the United States.

 

In 1999, she was post-humously awarded "Woman of the Year" by the State of Maryland in their Women's Hall of Fame, and in 2002, her biography was included in the book Women of Achievement in Maryland History.
 

Edward Berge (1876 to 1924)

Edward Henry Berge was born in Baltimore in 1876. He was the son of  1st generation German immigrants, Edward’s father Henry was a trained stonecutter and an architect. His father built the house they lived in, which was situated near the Baltimore Cemetery gatehouse.  Edward enrolled in the Rinehart School of Sculpture in 1899.  His classmates were J. Maxwell Miller and Hans Schuler.  After graduation, he traveled to France and studied under Auguste Rodin.  He is known for his bronze monumental works and figures.  He was a member of the National Sculpture Society and the National Arts Club.  He taught at the Maryland Institute of Art, which was originally the Rinehart School.



He created numerous monuments throughout the city and generally works in a realist style. He is, however, most well known for his carefree and playful garden figures such as the 'Wildflower Series'


Edward died of a heart attack in 1924.  He is buried in Lorraine Park Cemetery.  His sons Henry and Stephens were also professional artist and are buried in Lorraine Park.


Works of Edward Berge

He is known for his fountains.  Wildflowers is a series of fountains using different wildflowers in the design.

Berge mainly worked in marble and bronze and completed many monuments, portrait busts and relief sculptures, many of which are on display outdoors or in public buildings in and around Baltimore City.
  • Armistead at Fort McHenry
  • Chapin A. Harris, Wyman Parkway and 31st Street
  • Wildflower, Homeland Garden-Springlake Way
  • Watson, Mt. Royal Terrace at North Ave.
  • Berge Family Plot-Lorraine Park Cemetery
  • Tattersall Monument-Lorraine Park Cemetery
  • Sea Urchin-JHU/Mt. Vernon (1924).  The original was moved to JHU in 1961 and the Urchin at Mt. Vernon was replaced with a larger model.  Edward's son, Henry made the reproduction.
  • Belair WWI Memorial-1921
  • On the Trail-Clifton Park  

 

Eva Cassidy (2-2-1963 to 11-2-1996)

 

Eva Cassidy was born in Bowie, MD., the daughter of Hugh and Barbara. Her father was of Irish/Scottish descent and her mother was German born.  She began singing professionally at the age of eleven in the Washington area in a band called ‘Easy Street’.  While a  student at Bowie High School, she sang with a local band called Stonehenge.  She also spent the summers of 1983 playing guitar and singing at the theme park, ‘Wild World’.  She explored other artistic expressions including painting, sculpting and jewelry design. 

 

Al Dale became her manager and in 1986 she sang back-up for several acts.  In 1990, the ‘Eva Cassidy’ band was born.  Her signature song was ‘Over the Rainbow’.  In 1993 she was honored by the Washington Area Music Association with a Wammie award for the Vocalist Jazz/Traditional category.  She signed a deal with ‘Blue Note’ label.  In January 1996, the material for Live at Blues Alley was recorded over a two-day period at Blues Alley in Washington DC.  The Washington Post commented that ‘she could sing anything-folk, blues, pop, jazz, R&B, gospel-and make it sound like it was the only music that mattered.  Her last album ‘Eva by Heart’ was released posthumously in 1997.  She died after a battle with melanoma.   She was inducted into the Washington Area Music Association’s Hall of Fame. 

Louis P. Dieterich (George) (1841 to 11-15-1922)

 

Mr. Dieterich was born in Lich, Germany.  He was a portrait artist and was also a musician and endowed with a wonderfully rich voice.  For over fifty years he was an active member of the Harmonie Singing Society. He painted several historical portraits which have hung or still hang in the State House.  In the Senate building one can find the portrait of Senator Arthur Pue Gorman and in the House chambers, Mr. Dieterich painted the portrait of Senator Isador Raynor and that of Senate President Spencer Jones.  In the Governor’s private office, the Dieterich portraits include those of Thomas George Pratt, William Thomas Hamilton and Frank Brown. 

 

 

Janet Doub Erickson-(1924 to )Block Printer, Author, and Graphic Artist

 

Born Janet Ann Doub she is an American graphic artist and writer who popularized linoleum-block and woodblock printing in the post-World War II period, both through her art and through her writings. Born to a pioneering Western Maryland farming family (Doub)in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1924, she spent her early years in Boonsboro, Maryland, where her father’s ancestors had settled in the eighteenth century and subsequently farmed continuously. She moved to New England in the nineteen thirties and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, graduating in the nineteen forties, and founded with partner Paul Coombs “Blockhouse of Boston” soon thereafter, achieving commercial success with her innovative approaches to block-printing. After marrying author Evarts Erickson in the 1950s she moved to Mexico for several years with a fellowship from The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. In Guadalajara and then Oaxaca she studied Mexican printmaking techniques and had several children, subsequently returning to a professorship in the United States.

 

She was nicknamed “Jumping Janet” for her practice of jumping on her linoleum and wood blocks to make the ink stick deeper into the textiles she was printing. She was also the subject of profiles in the art magazines Craft Horizons and American Artist , and won a first prize in textile design from the American Craftsmen's Council in 1954. In 1961 Erickson wrote Blockprinting on Textiles. A 1966 book she co-wrote with Adelaide Sproul, Printmaking Without A Press popularized both traditional and her own more innovative linoleum and wood-cut printing techniques at a time when block printing was on the verge of extinction in the United States. Fortuitously timed with a renaissance in interest in traditional crafts during the sixties, the book further spurred interest in Janet Doub Erickson's art. In 1989 she published her early line drawings in the retrospective book Drawings of Old Boston Houses. Her prints, drawings, and paintings have been purchased for the permanent collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Saudi Arabian Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

 

In the nineteen sixties she moved to California, where she lived for more than a decade prior to moving to Croatia (then-Yugoslavia), then Venice, Italy, and finally to the Middle East, before returning to California. In 2001 she moved to her long-time summer residence on Cape Cod, where she currently resides, and did historical research on New England vernacular housing. Now retired as a printmaker, in recent years she has written for a variety of textile and architectural magazines, and recently retired from her position on the Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Historical Commission.

 

Otto Finger (1904 to 9-11-1965)

 

Mr. Finger was a long standing member of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland.  He was a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and after additional music studies in Germany, returned to Baltimore and established a studio for teaching voice.  He remained a music teacher for twenty years.  He often sang at the First Presbyterian Church and the Zion Lutheran Church.  He was co-owner with sculptor Hans Schuler of the Schuler-Thomas Florists on Saratoga Street, which was founded in 1892 by Hans Schuler.  He is buried at Druid Ridge Cemetery.

 

Professor Otto Fuchs (10-6-1839 to 3-13-1906)

He was born in Saltzwedel, in the province of Saxony, Prussia and came to the US in 1851.  Professor Fuchs came to the U.S.  at the age of twelve.  He received his early education in Germany.  He arrived in New York and received his professional education there.  He studied civil engineering and was a teacher at the Cooper Institute in New York and also a draftsman for the U.S. Coast Survey.  He accepted a position as professor of drawing at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he stayed for two years.  As a draughtsman and later as Director of the Bureau of Design for Monitors, he may have helped win the naval battles of the Civil War. He then went to the State Normal Art School in Boston as a director.  He then accepted the appointment as principal from the Maryland Institute, which at the time had 250 students.   He spent twenty two years in that position (1883 to 1906).  One of his students was Hans Schuler (see profile, this page).  He designed the interior studios of the new building after the old building was destroyed by the Great Baltimore Fire in 1904.  Unfortunately, Professor Fuchs did not live to see the completed building, which was 1908.   He was a member of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland, being their vice president at the time of his death. He was a member of the Board of Managers of the Germania Society of Maryland; a member of the General Orphan Society of Baltimore and was president of the German Technical Society of Baltimore.  He was a Past master of Fidelity Lodge of Masons. He was also a member of the Harmonic Musical Society.

 

The Maryland General Assembly paid homage to Professor Fuchs during their 1906 session by a Joint Resolution:  SECTION 1. Be it resolved by the General Assembly of Maryland, That its members have heard with the keenest sensibility the distressing intelligence that the useful and honored life of Professor Otto Fuchs, of the Maryland Institute Schools of Art and Design, has come to an end. Gifted beyond the ordinary measure of human endowments, irreproachable in point of character, placed by his talents and attainments in a situation that enabled him to leave a deep impress upon the minds and energies of many pupils whose careers, creditable both to themselves and the State, have borne indisputable testimony to the worth of such a preceptor, it is meet that this action of the General Assembly of Maryland should enduringly attest the high position that he won in the confidence and gratitude of the community whose higher welfare he did so much to promote.


Professor Fuchs married Ann Sophia (Tuck-daughter of Judge William H. Tuck) and is buried at St. Anne's in Annapolis.

 

John F. Gontrum (2-16-1857 to 12-27-1909)-Writer

 

Mr. Gontrum was a lawyer and poet, born and died in Baltimore County. Both his father and mother (John and Caroline -Hesse Darmstadt and Wurttemburg), came to America from Germany with their parents at an early age.

As a boy, he attended the German- Lutheran Parochial School, taught by Edward F. Leyh, the well-known German-American poet. Later, he attended Knapp's German-English School, Bethel Academy in Virginia, and St. John's College at Annapolis. Upon his graduation from the latter institution in 1878, he took up the study of law and was admitted to its practice in 1880.

 

Of the poems which he contributed to various periodicals from time to time throughout his life, the best known are Fort McHenry, Poe, and the Old Bridle Path. These have been included in a number of anthologies of verse.  Fort McHenry, by its exalted tone of patriotism, was instrumental in molding the sentiment that finally brought about the conversion of the old fortress into a national shrine. The poem, Poe, was written in 1909, a few months before the author's death, in indignation at the judges' action in refusing to admit Edgar Allan Poe to the so-called Hall of Fame. Its inspired beauty and power of imagination make it a really important addition to American literature. The Old Bridle Path is a pastoral of great charm. The picture which it portrays of the woods and fields of the author's youth is pervaded by a tone of regret and mild melancholy. Poems, by John F. Gontrum, were published in 1910.

 

Hilary Hahn () concert violinist

 

Hahn began playing the violin one month before her fourth birthday in the Suzuki Program of Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory. She participated in a Suzuki class for a year. Between 1984 and 1989 Hahn studied in Baltimore under Klara Berkovich. In 1990, at ten, Hahn was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she became a student of Jascha Brodsky. Hahn studied with Brodsky for seven years and learned the études of Kreutzer, Ševcík, Gaviniès, Rode, and the Paganini Caprices. She learned twenty-eight violin concertos, recital programs, and several other short pieces.

In 1991, Hahn made her major orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Soon thereafter, Hahn debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. In 1995 Hahn made her international debut in Germany with a performance of the Beethoven Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The concert was broadcast on radio and television in Europe. A year later, Hahn debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

By sixteen, Hahn had completed the Curtis Institute's university requirements, but elected to remain for several years to pursue elective courses, until her graduation in May 1999 with a Bachelor of Music degree. During this time she coached violin with Jaime Laredo, and studied chamber music with Felix Galimir and Gary Graffman. In an interview with PBS in December 2001, Hahn stated that of all the musical disciplines, she is most interested in musical performance.

 

Hahn has played with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in March 2007, and played in Vatican City as part of the celebrations for Pope Benedict XVI together with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, also in 2007.

She began performing and touring in a crossover duo with singer-songwriter Josh Ritter in 2007 and with singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau in 2005. According to Hahn: "Other musicians cross genres all the time. For me it's not crossover — I just enter their world. It frees you up to think in a different way from what you've been trained to do."

She speaks English, French and German fluently and also speaks Japanese.
From the Hillary Hahn website

 

 

J.T. Heyen (3-2-1810 to 12-22-1875)

 

Heyen was a poet and linguist and was a liberal contributor to many of the German and English literary journals in the U.S.  He was born in Jever, Oldenburg, Germany and came to the U.S. around 1831.  He engaged in a few mercantile pursuits, which he left for his true love, literature.  For many years, he filled a responsible position in the Baltimore post-office and used his leisure time to translate his favorite German, French, Spanish and Italian poets.  His own poems evidenced his command of the English language, which he spoke with astonishing fluency. 

 

Among his best efforts was the poem entitled ‘The Suicide,’ published in the Baltimorean several years after his death.  After leaving the post-office, he was appointed by his brother-in-law, Frederick Raine (see profile), a position on the editorial staff of the Correspondent, where he remained until his death.

 

Frederick Kemmelmeyer (c. 1733-1816)-Painter

 

A German-born artist in Baltimore who did portraits, miniatures, and historical subjects. His painting of George Washington reviewing the army at Fort Cumberland is a fine example of early American naive painting.  Frederick Kemmelmayer worked in Baltimore as a sign painter and miniaturist until 1803 and later moved to Western Maryland working from Chambersburg to Hagerstown and into the Upper Shenandoah region. The artist is known for his paintings of George Washingon reviewing the Whiskey Rebellion riots of 1794. He completed various portraits using pastels between the years 1805 and 1816.

 

Ephraim Keyser (10-6-1850 to 1937)

E. Keyser was born in Baltimore.  He was the son of Moses and Elizabeth Keyser, both born in Germany (according to the 1880 Federal Census).

He was educated at the City College of Baltimore and studied art in the Maryland Academy of Arts in 1871-72. He went to Munich in 1872 and studied under Widmann in the Academy of Fine Arts, where he won a silver medal for a bronze statue. He remained there until 1876, when he moved to Berlin, and entered the studio of Albert Wolff, under whose tuition he modeled a figure of Psyche, for which he gained the Michael Beer prize, enabling him to spend a year in Italy.

In 1880 he settled in Rome, Italy, where he maintained a studio for six years and where he received a prize for the statue of Psyche. In 1887 he returned to the United States, and lived in New York City until 1893. He then resided in Baltimore, where he became an instructor in modeling at the School of Fine Arts. He lived with his sister Fannie and her husband David Bachrach.   His studio was located at the David Bachrach House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.  The house is located at 308 Overhill Road in Baltimore.

Works:  the statue of , erected by the government at Annapolis, Maryland (1883); the design for the tomb of Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, at Albany, NY; and various busts- President Grover Cleveland, Cardinal Gibbons, Sidney Lanier, and Henry Harland.  He also worked on cemetery statues and memorials. 


Christoph (Charles) Meineke (1782 to 1850)
Charles was born in Germany, son of Karl Meineke, organist in Oldenberg.  He came to the United States in 1820 at the age of 18 and settled in Baltimore.  Meineke was the organist for St. Paul's Church in Baltimore and kept that position from 1820 for the rest of his life.  One of his publications, 'A New Instruction for Piano Forte (1823)' is still a gudeline today.  He was a prolific composer and is credited with the music for an  "Evening Prayer" to be used at St. Paul Episcopal Church. The tune was published in his collection of psalm and hymn tunes and service music for St. Paul's congregation, Music for the Church (1844).  He wrote the tune for  the Glory be to the Father as well. 
Source:  Anthology of Early American Keyboard Music, 1787 to 1830, Part1. 

Henry Lewis Mencken (
9-12-1880 to 1-29-1956)-Journalist, writer

 

H.L. Mencken was the son of August Mencken (died 1-13-1899), a cigar factory owner (August Mencken & Bro. Manufacturers- 28 & 30 South Paca w/Branch house at the corner of Seventh and G, northwest in Washington DC-Baltimore Business Directory 1988) of German extraction.  The family’s roots were in Leipzig, Germany.   He was educated in the regular school system.  He took a night course in how to write copy for newspapers and business.  He never attended college.   He and his family moved to 1524 Hollins Street in the Union Square area and with the exception of five years of married life to Sara Hardt (8-27-1930 to 1935), he spent his entire life in this home.  He returned to this house after the death of his wife Sara and lived with his brother August, who was also a writer.  August wrote technical books. 

 

He became a reporter for the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1899 and moved to the Baltimore Sun in 1906, where he contributed full time until 1948.  He began writing editorials and op ed pieces and wrote short stories, a novel and even poetry.  In 1908 he became a literary critic for the magazine The Smart Set and in 1924 founded The American Mercury, which became a national publication and very influential on college campuses across America.  He resigned as an editor in 1933. 

 

Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken, was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Mencken, known as the "Sage of Baltimore", is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century.

 

Mencken is known for writing The American Language (1919), a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the "Monkey" trial.  The trial took place in 1925 (The State of Tennessee vs. John T. Scopes) and centered on the teaching of evolution. 
 
Vincent Fitzpatrick oversees the Mencken Room at the Pratt  Library.  In his book, H.L. Mencken is states ‘England gave us Puritanism, Germany gave us Pilsner.  Take your choice’.   He attributed the diminution of ethnic Germans to the ‘melting pot’ they plunged in, shedding their difficult language and flaunting their appearance as look alikes of the English.  One example of his pride in his German heritage.  Mencken's grandfather was born in Saxony.

Mencken had a stroke in 1948 and never recovered.  He is interred in Loudon Park Cemetery. 

 

 

Alfred Jacob Miller (1-28-1810 to 6-26-1874)-Painter

 

Alfred Jacob Miller was born on January 10, 1810 in Baltimore, Maryland and was one of the first Caucasian artists to record life in the West. His parents encouraged his interest in drawing, and he received training in portraiture from Thomas Sully from 1831-1832. Miller went on a European tour in 1833 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the English Life School in Rome. Following this, he moved to New Orleans and established a studio where he met Captain William Drummond Stewart, a wealthy Scottish aristocrat and British Army officer. After looking at Miller's work in the studio, Stewart invited Miller to be a part of an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, where his only duty was to record the trip through sketches.

 

In April 1837, the party, consisting of 45 men and 20 carts, headed out with Thomas Fitzpatrick as their guide; the route they took would later be called the Oregon Trail. Miller returned from the trip with approximately 200 sketches, which were shipped to Stewart's Murthly Castle in Scotland. Miller would follow his sketches to Scotland, living at the castle from 1840 to 1842, and painting scenes from the trip while there. Once he had completed his commission for Stewart, Miller returned to Baltimore where he spent the rest of his career painting portraits and scenes from his journey "out West." He died in 1874 in Baltimore.


Mr. Miller is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.

 

J. Maxwell Miller (1877 to 1934)(Sculptor)
 

 Monuments in Baltimore by J. Maxwell Miller:

 

  • Star-Spangled Banner Memorial at Patterson Park -J Maxwell Miller, a close friend and colleague of artists Edward Berge and Hans Schuler, produced the Star-Spangled Banner Memorial for the occasion. The sculpture depicts two school children holding a scroll that reads: “To commemorate the centennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the pupils of the public schools of Baltimore have erected this memorial upon Hampstead Hill where in September, 1814, the citizen soldiers of Maryland stood ready to sacrifice their lives in defense of their homes and their country.”
  • Confederate Women of Maryland Monument -The memorial depicts two stoic women, one of whom is standing looking off into the distance, while the other kneels down clutching the body of a fallen soldier who has dropped his flag. The inscription reads, “In difficulty and danger, regardless of self, they fed the hungry, clothed the needy, nursed the wounded and comforted the dying.”
  • Latrobe Monument (with Edward Berge) N. Broadway and E. Baltimore St.
  • Poetry Panel (Concert Hall of the Peabody Institute)

J. Maxwell Miller studied sculpture under William Rinehart at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and between 1900 and 1905, traveled to France to learn further from Raoul Verlet at the Julian Academy in Paris.  His creations were well received in Europe, and when he returned to Baltimore he began his private practice preparing fine art for commission.  Miller’s detailed work is best exemplified by his Star-Spangled Banner Memorial in Patterson Park.  Dedicated in 1914, during the city’s massive centennial celebration of defensive victory in the War of 1812, the monument was placed directly in front of the park’s observatory.  The accessible location allows for close inspection of the artist’s craft.

 

Miller was director of Rinehart from 1923 to 1933.  (Maryland Institute's Rinehart School of Sculpture has been creating them since 1896).  The 1930 Federal Census has Mr. Miller living at 1713 Bolton Street.  It listed his as a sculptor with his own studio.  Living with him was his wife Mary, Daughter, Mary and his mother-in-law, Mary Biggs.  He was 52 at the time of the census and had been married for 32 years. [ED598, Ward 14].
 

Philip Nengel (1821 to 1872?) Fresco Painter

 

A young immigrant from Germany, was the artist who, in 1865, painted the images of the evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John above arches in Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption. His art was hidden for 100 years and came to light with the restoration of the Basilica in 2004. The paintings were in perfect condition and needed no restoration. They are very striking and are among the most prominent features of the renovated basilica, the are 11 feet wide by eight feet high. He lived on Granby Street.
No monetary value has been placed on the paintings, but the Archdiocese of Baltimore considers their historical and religious value priceless.

 

Philip Nengel, son of Philip Nengel, painter of the Basilica frescoes and also a fresco painter himself was shown in the 1890 Baltimore Directory living at 297 N. Durham.  Family members have indicated that Philip, the son lived on S. Castle and his brother Henry lived on Durham.
Further information on the artist was provided by a family member, R. Vaeth.

 

 

Otto Ortmann (1-25-1889 to 1979) 

 

Mr. Ortmann graduated from the Peabody Conservatory in 1917.  He served on the faculty (harmony and piano) from 1917 to 1928 and then as the conservatory director.  In 1929 he published Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique, which was a study of the nature of muscular action used to play the piano and the effects upon the piano key and tone.  Ortmann concluded, after examination and observation, that due to the way the human arm and hand are constructed, there were fundamental things a pianist had to do to get the desired results.   He was director of the conservatory until 1944. 

 

As for his ancestry, the 1920 U.S. census has Mr. Ortmann living at 1713 Fairmount Avenue in Baltimore with his wife Margaret and children Arnold and Dorothea.  His mother Elizabeth was also living with him at the time.  The census indicates that his father was German.  Mr. Ortmann’s occupation according to the census was a music instructor. 

Source:  Piano Playing as a Science, Dale Keiger, Johns Hopkins Magazine, 4-2000.

Pomplitz, August  (1826 to 2-3-1877) 

 

Prussian born American organbuilder.  A pupil of the German court organbuilder Eberhardt, Pomplitz emigrated to the U.S. and established an organ building partnership in Baltimore with Henry Rodewald (Pomplitz and Rodewald).  The firm lasted from 1851 to 1862, although its factory was destroyed by fire in 1854.  In 1862, the firm became the Pomplitz Church Organ Company, where Pomplitz was assisted by his two sons, Hermann W. and Louis Pomplitz.  After his death in Baltimore, Louis and John W. Otto became the directors of the firm.

 

The precise number of the firm’s output in unknown, but it is estimated to have built about 225 instruments mostly for clients in and around Baltimore.  Pomplitz’s largest instruments were for St. James (1868) and St. Vincent de Paul (1873). 


Mr. Pomplitz married Louise (Otto 1836-1924) and together had two children, Celia and Otto.  He is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.

Source:  The organ: an encyclopedia, Richard Kassel

Frederick Prausnitz, Conductor (-11/2005)

Taught  for many years at Baltimore's Peabody Institute died Nov. 12 at age 84. He was born in Cologne, Germany. He was considered one of the most important teachers of conducting in America. His book Score and Podium: A Complete Guide to Conducting is used as a text in courses on conducting.

 

William Henry Rinehart (9-13-1825 to 10-28-1874)

 

Born on a Maryland farm near Union Bridge, William Rinehart became known for sculpture, especially marble and bronze portraits.  He was the son of a German farmer in Carroll County.   He was such as success that by the mid-1860s, "patrons had to wait two or three years for completion of portrait busts."  Rinehart was taken under the wing of William T. Walters and was a close family friend.

 

As a young man, he became skilled at stone cutting, working as an apprentice to a stonecutter in Union Bridge, and in 1844, at age 19, he moved to Baltimore where he worked as foreman for Baughman and Bevan on the site of what is now the Peabody Institute of Baltimore.  He studied sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

 

He continued his studies leaving for Italy in 1855.  He returned in 1857 and opened a studio in Baltimore.  He traveled back and forth to Italy spending most of his life in Italy.

 

Rinehart left his estate in trust for the education of sculpture at the Maryland Institute, where today the Maryland Institute College of Art Rinehart School of Sculpture is one of the most renowned in the country. The Rinehart School of Sculpture was accomplished when a $38,000 estate was left to William Walters.  Walters invested the $38,000 and when it grew to $100,000, the school was built at the School for the Arts.

At his death, pallbearers included William T. Walters and artist friends Frank B. Mayer, Andrew J. H. Way and Arthur Quartley.  He is buried in Greenmount Cemetery.
 

In Rinehart's hometown of Union Bridge, Maryland, they have erected the monument.

Works:

  • The Woman of Samaria (bronze monument over Mrs. Walters Grave in Greenmount Cemetery)
  • Chief Justice Taney (front of State-House, Annapolis)
  • Indian & Backwoodsman (flanking the clock in the U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Fountain Figure at main U.S. Post Office in Washington, DC.
  • Clytie (Peabody Institute)
  • It has also been reported that he designed and built the bronze doors of the U.S. Capitol in DC.
  •  

Source:  IAN CHILVERS. "Rinehart, William Henry." The Oxford Dictionary of Art. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 3 Aug. 2010; http://www.encyclopedia.comAncestry.com

 
 

John Schaefer (7-1830 to 11-13-1921)

 

John H. Schaefer, was born in Hesse Darmstadt.  He was the proprietor of a photographic business at 887 West Baltimore street for 40 years and a former director of the Central Savings Bank of Baltimore.  He came to the U.S. in the mid 1850s. [Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900].  Mr. Schaefer founded his photographic business in 1861. Schaefer's "Gallery of Artistic Photography" was located at a series addresses in Baltimore: 671 W. Baltimore Street, 643 W. Baltimore, and 887 W. Baltimore. John William Schaefer, his son,  took over the business after his father's retirement in 1900.

Mr. Schaefer was named a director in the Central Savings Bank of Baltimore when that institution was founded and continued in that position until he was stricken with paralysis in 1917.

He and his wife, Katherine, had five sons and four daughters.

Mr. Schaefer was buried from St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and he will be buried at St. Paul’s in Druid Hill. 

Baltimore SUN, 14 November 1921, Baltimore AMERICAN, 15 Nov 1921

Rev. John Frederick Schroeder (4-8-1800 to 2-26-1857)

 

Rev. Schroeder, clergyman and author, was born in Baltimore.   He studied at the Episcopal Theological Seminary at New Haven; was admitted to Holy Orders in 1823, and had charge of a parish on the Eastern Shore.  Besides being a popular preacher, he delivered a course of lectures on Oriental literature; contributed a treatise on the ‘Authenticity and Canonical Authority of the Scriptures of the Old Testament’ and a treatise on the ‘Use of the Syriac Language’ to a volume of essays and dissertations on’ Biblical Literature’ edited by himself; published a memorial volume on the death of Bishop Hobart in 1830.  He published in 1855 ‘Maxims of Washington, Political, Social, Moral and Religious;” Memoir of Mrs. May Anna Boardman, etc.,’ by her son-in-law in 1849; and at the time of his death he was engaged on ‘The Life and Times of Washington’’ a serioal work of two volumes, of which he lived only to complete four numbers. 

 

Heinrich A. Schröder (1-15-1838 to 10-31-1896)

 

Mr. Schröder was born in Westphalia, Germany .  He arrived in Baltimore about 1858.  He was a well know lithographer and worked at the A. Hoen & Co.  He was also a talented painter and illustrator, providing the cover work for Edward Leyh’s ‘Tannhäuser’ (see Mr. Leyh’s profile).   He became the artistic leader at Hoen with his brilliant designs and simple works.  His talent was acknowledged after his work on the Sesquicentennial celebration. 

 

Ann Didusch Schuler (1918 to 5-19-2010)-Portrait Painter

 

Born Ann Didusch in Baltimore, she was the fourth generation of a prominent family of artists whose roots went back to Germany.  Her father James Didusch (see profile) and his brother, William Didusch (see profile) studied with Max Brödel (see profile) at the Johns Hopkins University, both becoming prominent medical illustrators. 

 

Ms. Schuler was raised in East Baltimore and a graduate of Eastern High School.  She received her art training from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1940 and continued her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts.  She did her graduate studies at the Maryland Institute. She became an assistant to artist and art restorer Jacques Maroger.  Through him she learned to believe in the materials and techniques of the old masters.

 

She married Hans Schuler, Jr., son of Hans Schuler (see profile) in 1945.  The couple joined the faculty of the Maryland Institute, where Hans taught sculpture and she painting.  Becoming disenchanted with the rise of modern abstractionism, which conflicted with their deeply held belief in more traditional methods that included drawing, anatomy and perspective, they left the Institute and opened the Schuler School of Fine Arts located at 5 E. Lafayette Avenue.  The location was built by the elder Schuler in 1906 and was used as his studio.

 

Source: The Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2010, By Frederick N. Rasmussen

 

Hans Schuler, Sr.- Sculptor (5-25-1874 to 3-30-1951)
 

Lanier Memorial Grounds of Johns Hopkins UniversityHans K. Schuler, born on May 25, 1874, became one of Maryland’s most prominent sculptors throughout the first half of the 20th century. Originally from Alsace-Lorraine, France, then under German sovereignty, the Schuler's family (parents:  Otto Schuler and Amalia Arndt Schuler) emigrated to the United States while Hans was still a youngster.

 

His early education was at Scheib’s School and after displaying an aptitude for art, he attended, at the age of 15,the Maryland Institute College of Art at Baltimore, Maryland, Hans was part of the first graduating class of the Institute's Rinehart School of Sculpture in 1898. Hans spoke French when he arrived in the US, but was fluent in four languages. 

 

Following graduation, Schuler was awarded scholarships for study in Paris; returning to Baltimore in 1906, to become one of the city’s most sought-after sculptors.  Hans began receiving numerous commissions from private individuals, corporations, and civic groups.

 

Schuler’s creativity encompassed a broad range, including monumental groups, tomb figures, architectural ornament, commemorative medallions and coins.  Hans became the first American sculptor ever to win the Salon Gold Medal.  He also painted in watercolors and oils. 

 

He joined the faculty of the Maryland Institute in 1909 and in 1925 was chosen as its director.  For more than a quarter of a century he served as president of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

 

Today, numerous examples of Hans Schuler’s works can be found on display within several prominent museum collections including the National Portrait Gallery and Fogg Art Museum.  Arlington National Cemetery, Louisiana State University, State University of New York, (Albany - Bronx) and many locations in and about the Maryland/D.C. area are adorned with public monuments crafted by Hans Schuler, a gifted German-American artist.


He was known as the 'Monument Maker'.

 

He was for many years an active member of the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland and was an active member of the Zion Church where several of his pieces are part of the historic church.


Hans Schuler was also the co-owner with Otto J. Finger of the Schuler-Thomas Florists on Saratoga Street, which was founded in 1892. 


Hans was married to Paula M. Schneider (1879-1957)

 

Note:  The family and admirers of Baltimore's world renowned sculptor, Hans K. Schuler gathered 2006 to celebrate the founding of his studio in 1906 at  E. Lafayette Ave. Schuler built the studio with a large glass northern exposure to take advantage of the natural light for his work. He served as the the director of the Maryland Institute College from 1925 until 1951.  The family still owns the studio and the art school which operates there and houses over 100 of Schuler's works of art. Examples of some of his work: the statue of Sam Smith on Federal Hill; Johns Hopkins' bust at Charles St. and 33rd and the statue of Martin Luther in Druid Hill Park. You can make an appointment to visit the studio by calling at 410-685-3568.  He is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery.  The headstone of Hans Schuler was small and simple.  It seemed ironic that someone who had created such beautiful monuments and memorials for so many had so little marking his grave.
Hans Schuler Obituary: The Baltimore Sun April 2, 1951

Funeral services for Hans Schuler, Baltimore sculpter and teacher who died Friday, will be held at 3:30 P.M. today at his home at 7 East Lafayette avenue. Burial will be in Loudon Park Cemetery.
Services will be conducted by the Rev. Fritz Evers, of Zion Lutheran Church.
Pallbearers will be William Cowan, Miltenberger N. Smull, Howard Frech, R. McGill Mackall, Wilmer A. Dehuff, Douglas R. Warner, C. C. Knobloch and C. Warren Colgan.
A native of Lorraine, former German province, Mr. Schuler who was 76, lived in Baltimore for most of the last 70 years. During that time he produced scores of of sculpured works that are today Baltimore landmarks.
He also served 25 years as director of the Maryland Institute of Art, from which he received his basic art education.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Paula Schneider Schuler, a son, Hans Schuler, Jr., a daughter, Mrs. Howard L. Briggs, of Frostburg, and three grandchildren.

 
 
 

 

Hans Schuler, Jr., (1913 to 3-20-1999)-Sculptor/Painter

 

Really not a Jr., Hans C. Schuler, noted Baltimore sculptor and founder in 1959 of the Schuler School of Fine Arts at 5 E. Lafayette Ave.

Examples of his work include portrait busts, commemorative medals for universities and hospitals, and architectural renderings for numerous churches and public buildings.

Two noteworthy examples of his work are the Minute Man statue in the Reserve Officers' Association Building in Washington and della Robbia-style reliefs on the facade of Haussner's Restaurant in Highlandtown.  He also completed the 75th anniversary medal for Goucher College, the Johns Hopkins University 50-year alumnus medal and the college seal medal for St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City.
Mr. Schuler was born at 7 E. Lafayette Ave., the son of Hans Schuler, the nationally known sculptor and former director of the Maryland Institute, College of Art. His father's statues of Johns Hopkins, Sidney Lanier, Gen. Casimir Pulaski and Martin Luther are Baltimore landmarks. [See profile above]
Mr. Schuler graduated from Baltimore City College and earned a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1935. He studied at the Maryland Institute's Rinehart School of Sculpture for five years and attended evening school at the Maryland Institute.

After serving as an infantry captain in the Army during World War II, he taught sculpture at the Maryland Institute in the late 1940s and 1950s, with his wife, Ann Didusch, a painter whom he married in 1945.

Source:  Baltimore Sun 3-24-1999, Frederick Rasmussen

 

Gustav Strube (3-3-1867 to 2-2 1953)-Conductor/Composer

Born in Ballenstedt am Harz, Germany, Gustav's  father Friedrich was the town musician.  He played in his father’s orchestra.  When ten years old, he was a exceptional violinist.  His formal education began at sixteen when he entered the Leipzig Conservatory.  After three years at the Conservatory he became a member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig.  He also became a member of the Municipal Opera House.  The conductor at the time was Arthur Nikisch.  Nikisch invited Strube to join him when he was invited to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  In 1890 Strube joined the violin section of the Boston Orchestra.  He was invited to join the Peabody Institute in 1913 and he and his family then moved to Baltimore.  He received an honorary doctorate degree from the Philadelphia Music Academy.  He was an exceptional musician of many instruments and a fine composer.  He was called ‘Papa Strube’ at Peabody.  He was a member of the ‘Saturday Night’ club, meeting often in his home. He was the founding conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1916, and taught at the Peabody Conservatory (1916 to 1946). He wrote one opera, Ramona, which premiered in 1916.

 

He was a musician, composer, philosopher, winemaker, linguist and cook.

Otto Sutro (2-24-1833 to1896)

Mr. Sutro was born in Aachen, Rhenish Prussia.  His father was Emanuel Sutro, his mother Rosa Warendorf.  His father was an extensive cloth manufacturer, employing many hundreds. 

Otto showed a talent for music at a very young age, which was encouraged and promoted by his parents.  After instruction by the best masters of his native city, his father took him to the renowned Mendelssohn in 1845, who advised that Otto be sent to the Conservatory of Music.  His father died around that time and his mother changed the plans and sent him to the Conservatory of Music at Brussels.  He did very well.  His mother emigrated, with his siblings, to the U.S.   Otto, drawn by his affection for his mother, followed her and arrived in New York in 1851.  He went directly to Baltimore.  He obtained a position as an organist to the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church.  He caught ‘California Gold Fever’ and left to find his fortune.  He worked as an organist at the Catholic Cathedral in San Francisco, Dr. Scott’s Church and Kipp’s Protestant Episcopal Church.  He taught music and played music.  His brother, Adolph also immigrated. He was an engineer and became the Mayor of San Francisco.
 
The tug of his family again called him and he returned to Baltimore in February 1858, and made it his permanent home.   He played many charity events during the Civil War and established ‘Wednesday Night at Sutro’s’, which laid the foundation of the ‘Wednesday Club’. 

Ludwig O. Tietsch (anglicized Teach) (4-7-1895 to 10-26-1964)

Mr. Teach was a businessman and lover of music.  He was born in Mannheim, Germany into a musical and artistic family.  His father was an actor, his mother a musician.  He fought in Germany in WWI and was wounded and it was necessary to amputate his leg above the knee.  In 1921 he came to the U.S. and stayed with an uncle in St. Louis.  He came to Baltimore in 1925 to work for Marcus and Horkmeier, wool merchants. 

He was among a group of young people who met to play recordings of Bach’s music.  They met at first once a week and then twice a week, both listening and playing the music of Bach.  They called themselves the Bach Club and on July 16, 1930, offered their first Bach program at Stieff Hall.  Mr. Teach was the guiding spirit of the concerts presented by the Bach Club.  He was able to bring famous German violinist Adolf Busch to Baltimore, where he gave a capacity audience in the Alcazar hall a full program of Bach.  Mr. Teach was most active in the Bach Club from 1934/1935. 

Mr. Teach retired from Marcus & Horkheimer in 1952.  His pride and joy was his collection of original letters of Brahms, Clara Schumann, Liszt and others. 



Adalbert John Volck  (4-14-1828 to 3-26-1912)

Mr. Volch was born in Augsburg, studied in Munich and Nürnberg.  He was the son of Andreas Volck, a manufacturing chemist in Nuremberg.  Adalbert had to leave Germany because of his involvement in the Revolution of 1848.  He was sentenced to four years service in the Bavarian Army.  He immigrated and to America.  After a few years in St. Louis and California he settled in Baltimore.  He studied dentisty at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, where he graduated in 1852. He practiced dentistry in Baltimore for many years and was successful with many families in Baltimore and Catonsville.  He married Letitia Alleyn and together they had two sons and three daughters.   He helped establish the Academy of Art, Allston Association, the Wednesday Club and the Charcoal Club.  During the Civil War he was active as a Confederate cartoonist.  He was pro-Southern which was the opposite sentiment of most Germans in the area at that time.  His caracatures took aim at the most important political figures of that time including Lincoln, General Scott and the Governor of Maryland, Thomas Hicks.  He drew a series of sketches under the name V. Blada.  His best known work is one of Lincoln signing the 'Emancipation Proclamation' with his foot resting on the US Constitution and the devil holding the ink well.  After the War he painted portraits.  His cartoons are at the Smithsonian and portraits may be found in several galleries. 
 
He is also responsible for the medallion portrait of Edgar Allen Poe on the Poe Monument, which is located in the Westminster Presbyterian churchyard at the corner of Greene and Fayette Streets in Baltimore City.
 
He  is buried in Loudon Park CemeteryHis younger brother was a well-known sculptor in Baltimore.  Both were prominent in the artistic and social life of their adopted hometown.

 

Dr. Hiltgunt Zassenhaus (7-10-1916 to 11-20-2004)
 

Born in Hamburg, Germany and a long-time resident of the Baltimore. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Hamburg in 1938 and thereafter worked in Hitler's justice department where she used her position to aid the victims of the Nazi regime.

 

After the war she studied medicine and earned her doctorate at the University of Copenhagen in 1952. The same year she came to Baltimore and interned and did her residency at City Hospital. Thereafter she began her private medical practice. She became world-famous because of her research and treatment of "blue babies".

 

Dr. Zassenhaus received honorary doctoral degrees from Western Maryland College, Goucher College, The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Towson University and the University of Maryland.

 

Her award-winning book Walls, about her experiences in Germany, was translated into many languages and is still in print. It was named one of the top 25 books for young adults in 1974. Another of her books was made into a television documentary. She was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Price in 1974 and received high honors in Europe. William Donald Schafer presented her the Mayor's citation and Gov. Harry Hughes named her to the Maryland Hall of Fame.

 

Lt. Charles Zimmermann (1861 to 1-16-1916)
 

He was born in Newport County, Rhode Island.  Charles was a graduate of Batlimore’s Peabody Institute and head of the Naval Academy band for 24 years.  He was honored on 1-26-07 at the Naval Academy Chapel.  He was appointed the Navy’s bandmaster in 1892 and served in that position until 1916.  His father was a German immigrant and also a Navy musician during the Civil war.

 

Zimmerman was a prolific composer and began a tradition of composing a march for each graduating class.  He is the composer of ‘Anchors Aweigh’  The tune is the same as that written in 1906.  The last stanza was changed in 1926.  He composed original operettas for the midshipmen, led the glee club and played the church organ.  He is interred at the Naval Academy.


 



[1] Naive artists are generally self-taught and the works of naive artists are often characterized by awkward control of perspective and a refreshingly original use of color. Although they lack artistic training, naive artists are not necessarily people without education.

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