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Kessler (Friedolin Edward) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical History
  • Publications Rights
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Materials
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Friedolin Edward Kessler Papers
    creator: Kessler, Friedolin Edward, 1913-1995
    source: San José State University. Library. Special Collections & Archives
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2018.01.12
    Physical Description: 3 boxes (2.42 linear ft.)
    Date (inclusive): 1927-1996
    Abstract: Materials in this collection relate to the life and art career of Friedolin Edward Kessler. Materials include personal papers, photographic reproductions of his art, and a few original art pieces.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    Friedolin Edward Kessler Papers, MSS-2018-01-12, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Lauren DeCelle and David Fournier.

    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 photographed and sketched, later producing 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 in 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 College, Stanford, and in the San Jose Adult Education System. The combined artwork of the Kesslers spanned 70 years. The Kesslers 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.

    Publications 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.


    This collection is arranged in two Series: I. Art and II. Personal Papers.

    Scope and Contents

    Materials in this collection are related to the life and art career of Friedolin Edward Kessler. The first series, Art, consists mainly of photographic reproductions of Kessler's work through the decades. Also present are some original linoleum block prints, sketches, and some paintings. The bulk of his early work was linoleum prints and paintings, whereas his later work was mostly woodwork and mosaics. The second series, Personal Papers, consists of correspondence, awards, photographs, newsprints, San Jose Art League papers, and various work related financial papers. Materials in this series also include his sporadic architectural work, photos of his numerous hiking trips, and life work recollections.

    Related Materials

    Friedolin Edward Kessler Art Collection, MSS 2012-09-28

    Related Materials

    Civilian Conservation Corps Collection, MSS 2010-07-29

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Art, American -- California -- 20th century
    Missions, Spanish -- California -- Photographs
    San Jose Art League
    Kessler, Friedolin Edward, 1913-1995
    San José State University. Library. Special Collections & Archives