Werner Drewes (1899–1985, American, b. Germany)
18 x 24 inches
Werner Drewes was born on July 27, 1899 in Canig (Brandenburg), Germany. After serving in the German army in France, Drewes studied architecture at Charlottenburg (Berlin) Technische Hochschule and Stuttgart Technische Hochschule. From 1921 to 1923, Drewes studied at the celebrated Bauhaus with notable artists Johannes Itten and Paul Klee. The next year, he traveled extensively throughout Italy and Spain, studying the art of old masters, especially Tintoretto, El Greco and Velásquez. Drewes worked as a portrait painter and printmaker to finance his travels around South America, and returned to Germany via Japan and the Trans-Siberian Express across Russia. He studied for another year at the Bauhaus under Wassily Kandinsky and Oskar Schlemmer, from 1927 to 1928. Immigrating to New York City in 1930 with his wife and three sons, Drewes joined the Art Students League. He taught drawing and printmaking at Brooklyn Museum School for the Federal Art Project in 1935. In 1937, Drewes was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, alongside other prestigious artists such as Josef Albers. Drewes taught painting, drawing and printmaking at Columbia University from 1937 to 1940. In 1939 Drewes consulted on the design of the World’s Fair building in New York. In 1946, Drewes was appointed professor of design and director of the School of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. An extensive traveler, Drewes came to the West in the 1960s and painted scenes of Colorado mountain landscapes such as Garden of the Gods. In 1972, he moved to Reston, Virginia, where he continued to teach and create until his death in 1985.
Not currently on view
Signed "Drewes -57-" and numbered, bottom
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art; Bequest of Vance Kirkland