in Borghorst, Germany in 1904, Karl Drerup earned a Masters
Degree in graphic arts working under Hans Meid at the Academy
in Berlin in 1926. He then traveled to Italy to study painting
with Felice Carena at the Academy in Florence. The political
situation in Germany kept him from returning. His journey,
accompanied by his wife Gertrude, led him to Madrid and then
to Canary Islands in 1934. He immigrated to New York City
an accomplished painter, ceramist, and engraver, Drerup mastered
enamel-making during his New York years and became a Charter
Member of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen in 1945.
Drerup was pre-eminent in the field of enamel painting on
metal. He played a major role in re-establishing its popularity
in the United States by rediscovering and applying a variety
of techniques including multi-fired painterly renderings in
wet charged glass, Cloisonne and Grisaille.
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York began buying his
enamels. His works were subsequently purchased by many permanent
collections throughout the world including: The Museum of
Fine Arts in Boston, The Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester,
The Museum of Fine Arts in Dallas, the State of New Hampshire's
Living Treasures Collection and museums in Los Angeles, Wichita,
Newark and the Smithsonian Institution.
Drerup and his wife moved to Thornton, NH. He immediately
became active in the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts
and served as a member of the League Council. Two years later.
He became Plymouth State Colleges first art professor.
He said he would come to demonstrate for two days and stayed
for twenty years. In this capacity, he directly influenced
many generations of practicing artists, craftspeople, and
teachers throughout New England and the United States.
after 18 years of retirement, the college named its art gallery
after him and granted him an Honorary Doctorate. Drerup set
exacting standards for himself and his work. His extensive
knowledge of art history coupled with his conviction that
his work should speak for itself, has contributed to the excellence
of American Craft. In 1995, Drerup became a Fellow of the
American Crafts Council and in 1989 became a New Hampshire
Living Treasures Award recipient. Karl Drerup died at
the age of 94 on November 22, 2000.
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February 12, 2015