Poetic Vision and Academic Ideals
The first comprehensive catalog of the life and work of a renowned Memphis artist
Carl Gutherz (1844–1907), a Memphis artist of international note, lived and worked in the Mississippi Valley in the second half of the nineteenth century. After training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he began his career as an artist and teacher in St. Louis, helping establish the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts. He later returned to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian and showed annually in the Paris Salon for over ten years. He spent the last years of his life in Washington, DC, and participated in the American mural movement, which included executing a series of ceiling panels for the Library of Congress.
At the height of his career in France, Gutherz produced large-scale works that were a synthesis of Christian imagery and symbolist concepts. In America, he produced portraits, Civil War canvases, and landscapes that reflect the culture and history of the mid-South and the Mississippi Valley.
Carl Gutherz: Poetic Vision and Academic Ideals contains a biography and a series of essays that explore the relationship between Gutherz's work and his personal experiences, his philosophical beliefs, and his academic training. Based largely on the extensive collection of artwork, journals, and archival material in the collection of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, it offers an overview of Gutherz's activities in Memphis, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, and his achievements as an expatriate painter in France.