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Friedolin Edward Kessler Art Collection
MSS.2012.09.28  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical History
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Friedolin Edward Kessler Art Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2012.09.28
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 folio file drawers
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1935-1938
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1977
    Abstract: Artist, Friedolin Kessler (1913-1995) was born in St. Louis, Missouri and studied art at Washington University in St. Louis. Following art school he settled in California, initially working as an artist for the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC). With his wife Carol, he co-founded the San Jose Art League, and he taught art at San Jose State and at Stanford. The Friedolin Kessler Art Collection represents some of the art work he produced over his life-time. The collection consists of 35 10x8 linoleum block prints, 4 12-14, linoleum block prints, a California Mission Greeting Cards book consisting of 21 6x8 linoleum prints of all of the missions in the state, and four exhibit poster boards highlighting the work of the San Jose Art League through Mercury News Clippings dated between 1940-1977. The 10x8 prints document famous landmarks in Santa Clara County, including the famous light tower, Stanford Memorial Chapel, Santa Clara University, Alum Rock Part, Santa Clara Court House, and the California State Capitol Building in San Jose, San Jose Normal School, and the Winchester House. The 12x14 prints relate to the work of the CCC. The California Mission Greeting Cards book describes Kessler’s bicycle journey across California to capture the missions through photography and sketches, which he used to produce the linoleum prints. His forte was linoleum block printing, but he also created mosaics, painted in oil and acrylic, and was talented woord artist. Kessler died in San Jose on Sept. 28, 1995.
    Physical Location: Vault 1, Folio File, Drawer 4.03

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the SJSU Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Friedolin Edward Kessler Art Collection, MSS-2012-09-28, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Danelle Moon. Finding aid created in the Archivist Toolkit.

    Biographical History

    Artist, Friedolin Kessler (1913-1995) was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 12, 1913, the only son of Czech and German parents. At age 16 he entered art school at Washington University in St. Louis. After he graduated he joined the Missouri Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and in 1936 with his camp he was relocated to California. The camp settled in the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park. As the resident artist of the camp he was hired to document life in the CCC. His forte was linoleum cuts, but he also worked with oil and acrylic, as well as having talent in wood art and mosaics. In 1938 he took a bicycle trip visiting every California Mission in the state, which he sketched and photographed and later produced beautiful linoleum cuts of each mission. The resulting prints were exhibited around California and at the World’s Fair in Treasure Island and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
    Kessler spent the majority of his life San Jose and became a well-known artist in the area. In 1938 with his wife Carol, he co-founded the San Jose Art League, and taught art at San Jose State and at Stanford. The combined artwork of the Kessler’s spanned 70 years. The Kessler’s were avid hikers and back-packed up Mt. Whitney with friends Allen and Cindy Perry. The Perry’s helped care for Carol for many years as well as Friedolin, who died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 82. They had no children.

    Related Material

    Civilian Conservation Corps Collection, MSS-2010-07-29, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt1t1nd9tb/entire_text/

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Friedolin Kessler Linoleum Art Collection consists of 35 10x8 linoleum block prints, 4 12x14, linoleum block prints, a California Mission Cards book consisting of 21 6x8 linoleum prints of all of the missions in the state, and four exhibit panels highlighting the work of the San Jose Art League through Mercury News Clippings dated between 1940-1977. The 10x8 prints document famous landmarks in Santa Clara County, including the famous light tower, Stanford Memorial Chapel, Santa Clara College, Alum Rock Part, Santa Clara Court House, and the California State Capitol Building in San Jose, San Jose Normal School, and the Winchester House. The 12x14 prints relate to the work of the Civil Conservation Core during the Great Depression. The California Mission Greeting Cards book describes Kessler’s bicycle journey across California to capture the missions through photography and sketches, which he used to produce the linoleum prints. Kessler came to California as an artist working for the Civilian Conversation Corps in 1935 and in 1938 he and his wife Carol co-founded the San Jose Art League. He also taught art and San Jose State and at Stanford University. His forte was linoleum block printing, but he also painted in oil and acrylic, and had a talent in mosaics and wood art. Kessler died in San Jose on Sept. 28, 1995.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged by format and ordered alphabetically into three series: Series I: Linoleum Block Prints, 1935-1938; Series II: California Missions Greeting Cards; Series III: San Jose Art League Exhibit Poster Boards.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Kessler, Friedolin Edward, 1913-1995
    Art -- California -- San José
    Linoleum block-printing, American