Bernhard Gutmann (American, 1869 - 1936)

With a wide-ranging career spent in both Europe and America, Bernhard Gutmann was a painter, printmaker, and graphic artist.  He also served as an arts educator and administrator, and published several art manuals.  He was born in Hamburg, Germany, and trained at the prestigious Dusseldorf and Karlsruhe academies.  In 1892, he settled in Lynchburg, Virginia, becoming supervisor of public school art education programs and a strong influence in the local arts community.  He founded the Lynchburg Art Club, painted murals, designed book illustrations, and taught at both Lynchburg public schools and at the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.  In 1899, he moved to New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator and formed a fine art publishing company.  In 1907 after his marriage to Bertha Goldman, the couple moved to Europe for the next five years, where he embraced the bright colors and vibrant brushwork of impressionism in his landscapes, figure paintings, and still lifes in which Bertha was frequently his model.On their return to the United States in 1912, Gutmann accepted numerous invitations to exhibit his work in his adopted homeland, contributing paintings to many esteemed juried exhibitions including the seminal New York Armory Show of 1913. Later that same year, Gutmann and his family joined the artists’ colony at Silvermine, Connecticut, one of several East Coast centers for the development of American artistic expression at the turn of the twentieth century. There, Gutmann helped organize the Silvermine Guild of Artists.  In 1934, Gutmann became regional director for the Works Progress Administration in New Canaan, CT.  After his death in 1936 his family sequestered his work, leaving relatively few examples in public possession. In 1938, a retrospective tribute was paid to him by the Vanderbilt Galleries in New York. Throughout his career Gutmann’s work met with critical favor and continues to be added to the collections of distinguished American art institutions.

NYC, 1899
Dusseldorf Academy (Germany)
Karlsruhe Academy (Germany)
Paris, 1907

American Association of Allied Artists
Salmagundi Club 
Knockers Club
Darren G Seven Artists Club

National Academy of Design
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Art Institute of Chicago
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Alfred University (NYC)

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, 1912-13
Armory Show, 1913 (International Exhibition of Modern Art)
Corcoran Gallery, 1914
Art Institute of Chicago
Society of Independent Artists, 1917-19, 1931
Salons of America, 1929, 1932
Beacon Hill Fine Arts, 1998
New Canaan Historical Society, 1998

Randolph Macon Women’s College
Lynchburg  Public  Schools (supervisor of drawing) 

North, American Art Review October 1998
Danly, American Art Review August 2004
Walter,  Panama-Pacific Exposition Catalog
Mallett (ed.), Index of Artists: International-Biographical
Addison, Portraits: In the University of Pennsylvania
Brown, The Story of the Armory Show
Wright, Artists in Virginia Before 1900
Falk (ed.), Who Was Who in American Art
Preato, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Transformations 1885-1945
Falk (ed.), Annual Exhibition Record 1876-1913, PAFA
Falk (ed.), Annual Exhibition Record, NA
Gerdts, Art Across America: The South, Near Midwest
North, Bernhard Gutmann: An American Impressionist
Force, Bernard Gutmann: Face to Face
Brown, The Story of the Armory Show
(and many more important references)