Franz A. Bischoff

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Franz Arthur Bischoff was born in Bomen, Austria January 14, 1864. He studied painting, design, and ceramic decoration in Vienna, Austria and immigrated to America in 1885. He worked as a China decorator in a New York factory and later continued in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Fostoria, Ohio. While in Fostoria, Ohio he met his wife Bertha Greenwald in 1890 and had two children. In 1892, he moved to Dearborn, Michigan where he produced ceramic works and taught china decorating. He founded the Bischoff School of Ceramic Art in Detroit and New York City. Having his own studio, Bischoff was able to manufacture his own colors with Ashes of Roses being the most popular. During this period, he won many awards in various exhibitions such as the Columbian International Exposition, Chicago 1893, and the St. Louis Exposition in1904. Bischoff earned himself the reputation of “King of the Rose Painters.”

He visited California in 1900, and in 1906 he and his family moved to Los Angeles. Bischoff established a studio in the Blanchard Building and built a palatial Italian Renaissance style studio-home in the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena 1908. His home included a gallery, ceramic workshop, and painting studio. Although he brought with him a reputation as one of the nation’s greatest china painters, his arrival in California also marked his second career as a landscape painter. He turned to painting Impressionist landscapes of the desert around Palm Springs and the poppy fields near the Arroyo Seco. His subjects also included still lifes, harbor scenes of San Pedro, coastal areas of Monterey and Laguna Beach, farms in Cambria and Zion National Park, Utah which he visited in 1928. His early works were mostly 13 x 19 in., softer and more muted than his later works, which often show the influences of Expressionism and the Fauves. He died at his Pasadena home on Feb. 5, 1929. Upon his death, his wife Bertha, and son Oscar kept the gallery in their home open to visitors and occasionally sold some paintings and ceramics until his son’s death in 1967.

Member: California Art Club; Laguna Beach Art Association.

Exhibited: Detroit Museum, Michigan, 1890, 1915; World’s Colombian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, 1893; Universal Exposition, Paris, France, 1900; Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904; California Art Club, 1911; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1913; Friday Morning Club, Los Angeles, 1914; Panama-California International Exposition, San Diego, 1915; Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art, 1916; Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918; Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, 1922; Biltmore Salon, Los Angeles, 1924; California Art Club, 1924; Ebell Salon, Los Angeles, 1926; Ainslie Gallery, Los Angeles, 1926; Pasadena Art Institute, 1928.

Works held: Gardena High School; Irvine Museum; Laguna Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of California; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Terra Museum of American Art, Evanston, Illinois.

Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.
Jean Stern and Petersen Galleries, "F.A. Bischoff"
Irvine Museum, "Impressions of California: Early Currents in Art 1850-1930"
Oakland Museum, "A Time and Place: From the Ries Collection of California Painting"