Sunday, May 28, 2006

Viktor Schreckengost at home and in the galleries

Steve Litt had a terrific article this morning's PD about local artistic legend Viktor Schreckengost, as he approaches his 100th birthday next month. His family is working to reinforce his place in American cultural history, which is part of the motivation behind the spate of shows in his honor around the country this spring. My wife and I saw him at the Cleveland Museum of Art's show in his honor some years ago and thought he seemed like a nice person, as well as a great talent. This article reinforces that conclusion. (Steven Litt. "Where credit is due." Plain Dealer, Sunday, May 28, 2006. Page J-1.)

Dan Tranberg had also written about Mr. Schreckengost on Friday, reviewing his artistic output in particular, based on some of these showings. His conclusion was that Schreckengost was somewhat less innovative with his watercolors than with his ceramics and industrial designs. (Dan Tranberg. "Schreckengost's own innovations overshadow his basic watercolors." Plain Dealer, Friday, May 26, 2006. Page T28, Friday Magazine.)

I should add that I found one of Mr. Schreckengost's watercolor reproductions irresistible recently. While coming out of CSU's Urban College one rainy afternoon, I spotted a remarkable series of framed paintings in the window of Bonfoey's across Euclid Avenue, so I ran over to get a better look at what seemed to be a picture of one of the old MLK bridges. It was one of those beautiful stone bridges that were designed by Charles Schweinfurth and when I got up to the painting, I saw that it was by Viktor Schreckengost. It was one of a numbered series of signed reproductions and I bought it on the spot, not being able to resist the combination of two such brilliant local designers. It's titled "Liberty Boulevard" and I'll be moving it to my campus office once Bonfoey's show is over and it can come out of their window.


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