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 wood artist. Kessler died in San Jose
on Sept. 28, 1995.
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.
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