Fritz Kerl (1853 - 1920)

Birth date: 1853 Death date: 1920  
Birth location: Bad Langensalza, Saxony, East Germany Death location: Berlin, Germany  
Media: Drawing , Painting Web site:
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Biographical Brief

Birthdate: 3/27/1853
Ernist Fritz Kerl was the 4th son of Johann and his 3rd wife, Fanny Henriette Schlick and half brother of Otto Kerl.
Talented painter of romantic landscapes, musician, poet and illustrator..
For many years he was a music critic for one of the German-language dailies.
Studied: 1875-1887, Dusseldorf Academy of Art, Germany and also in Berlin, Germany
1892, 10/14 immigrated to America, New YorkMilwaukee, Wisconsin
1892,1904, listed in Milwaukee Business Directory
1902,1903,  listed in Wrights Milwaukee Business Directory
1900-1913, founding member of Society of Milwaukee Artists
1900, Organizing member of the Milwaukee Art League to plan All-Year long exhibitions (Milwaukee Sentinal
          10/23/1900 pg.3)
1910, listed in the Federal Census of Chicago
Maintained a studio at the Eduard Gram Building on Grand Avenue, Milwaukee, WI (Milw. Sentinal, 
5/15/1887, pg.3 and Milw. Sentinal4/5/1903 part 5 / pg.10) and also at the Old East Side Turner Hall on Knapp Street, Milwaukee, WI
Death date: 4/7/1920
Collections: Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI, Untitled (1992-005)


Fritz Kerl
Born in 1853 in Langensalza, Germany
Died in 1920 in Berlin, Germany
Born Ernst Friedrich Kerl, the son of a brewery worker, Fritz Kerl spent his life as a painter, poet and musician. He received his art education at the Düsseldorf Academy from 1875-1887 and studied under Eugen Dücker and Eduard von Gebhard.

He immigrated to the United States in 1892 and in 1900 was among the founding members of the Society of Milwaukee Artists, an organization that would later become known as the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors. Kerl participated in their first exhibition in 1901 with a painting in the German Romantic Style entitled, Der Erlkönig Und Seine Töchter (The King of Elves and His Daughters). A review of his work appeared in the May 19, 1901 issue of the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper.  

In 1902, Kerl published a book of his own poetry and illustrations. He maintained a studio on Knapp Street on the East Side of Milwaukee and also worked as a music critic for a German- language newspaper in Milwaukee.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Milwaukee Public Library, Wisconsin, First exhibition of the Society of Milwaukee Artists Exchange
1902 Chicago Art Institute, Illinois, American Annual 
1902 Milwaukee Public Library, Wisconsin, Fourth exhibition of the Society of Milwaukee Artists Exchange 
Milwaukee Public Library, Wisconsin, Fourth Exhibition of the Society of Milwaukee Artists 
1981  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Society of Milwaukee Artists Exchange, 1900-1913 
1990 Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin “Wisconsin Artists from the Late 19th Century into the 20th
1996  Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, Collecting the Art of Wisconsin:  The Early Years 

Wisconsin Affiliations

No affiliations were found.

Wisconsin Art Organizations

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