Gustav Rehberger, American (1910 - 1995)

Gustav Rehberger

Described as a "volcanic expressionist" and a painter of "chromatic fury", Gustav Rehberger worked in oil, gouache, pencil and pen to create artwork where "every stroke was charged with a continuous flow of activity; whirling, driving--a blaze of tempests, turbulence, exciting commotion when one would expect the subject to leap off the paper or canvas."

In addition to expressionist paintings, Rehberger did drawings and paintings of human figures, horse subjects and apocalyptic themes that expressed from his strong religious beliefs.

He was born in Riedlingsdorf, Austria and showed early art talent. When he was age 13, he emigrated to Chicago with his family, and the next year won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. At that time, a newspaper carried the headline: "Austrian school-boy ice artist wins chance for career", a reference to an ice carving in Chicago's Mozart School playground he had done of a detailed Austrian mountain landscape. Because of his obvious talent, the school directors supported his application to the Art Institute.

From that time, he continued to win competitions, but had to refuse two college scholarships because of the need to help support his family during the Depression. He took commercial artwork employment including graphic design, industrial design, illustration and some sculpture.

During World War II, he served in the United States Air Force and then established a studio in Carnegie Hall in New York City. He taught portrait painting, composition, figure drawing and figure painting at the Art Students League. Emphasizing the importance of education, he said: . . ."worthwhile art is never achieved by mere accident."

Julie Charles, 'Gustav Rehberger (1910-1995)', "Austria Kultur", Volume 6, 4/1996. Courtesy, Pamela Demme, widow of the artist.

The following, submitted September, 2004, is from Pamela Rehberger Demme, wife of the artist.

1910 1995

Painter, Draftsman, Educator, Lecturer, Muralist, Designer and Illustrator

1910 Riedlingsdorf, Austria - 1923 Brought to United States

1924 - 1927 The Art Institute of Chicago, Scholarship
1926 - 1928 The Art Instruction Schools, Minneapolis

1993 Illinois Academy of Fine Arts: IAFA Awards '93 Nominee
1988 Elected "The 1988 Honoree" to The Hall of Fame, The Pastel Society of America
1985 Popular Vote Award, The Pastel Society of America
1984 The Marie Devor Memorial Award, The Pastel Society of America
1984 Elected a "Master Pastelist", The Pastel Society of America
1984 Knickerbocker Artists' Award
1982 Appointed Honorary Citizen of Nashville, TN
1982 Lever House Award, The Pastel Society of America
1981 "Exceptional Merit", The Pastel Society of America
1981 Dr. Leonard Cammer Memorial Award, The Pastel Society of America
1979 Board of Directors Award, The Pastel Society of America
1976 "Best Figure" Tiro A. Segno Foundation Award, The Pastel Society of America
1974 Paul Puzinas Memorial Prize for Oil Painting, Allied Artists of America
1966 Minnie R. Stern Medal for Oil Painting, 24th Annual Exhibition, Audubon Artists
1955 National Exhibition of Advertising & Editorial Art & Design, The Art Directors Club of NYC
1954 National Exhibition of Advertising & Editorial Art & Design, The Art Directors Club of NYC
1949 "Most Creative Painting" Award for Oil, 7th Annual Exhibition Audubon Artists
1942 Exhibition of Advertising Art, Art Directors Club of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago
1938 Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, IL
1925 Five Prizes, Boys Week Exposition, Chicago, IL

1992 Carnegie Hall Museum Benefit: "The Spirit of Beethoven"
1992 Pompeii Museum, Monica North Galleries, "The Spirit of the Horse" Saratoga Springs, NY
1991 Snug Harbor Cultural Center (a major solo exhibition), Staten Island, NY
1977 Jacques Seligmann Gallery, NYC
1971 Wickersham Gallery, Paintings and Drawings for Beethoven's Bicentennial, NYC
1967 Wyoming Valley Art League, Wilkes-Barre, PA
1967 National Arts Club - Expo '67, Montreal, Canada
1967 Illusions One Art Gallery, Englewood, NJ
1965 Society of Illustrators, NYC
1965 Old Mill Art Center of the Adirondacks, Elizabethtown, NY
1964 Old Mill Art Center of the Adirondacks, Elizabethtown, NY
1957 Society of Illustrators, NYC
1950 Stevens-Gross Galleries, Chicago, IL
1950 Oshkosh Museum, City of Oshkosh, WI
1940 North Canton Library, North Canton, OH

1943 The Art Institute of Chicago
1944 The National Gallery, Washington, DC
1945 The National Galleries of London, England

1986 Gustav Rehberger was invited by the city of Bonn, West Germany to do his famed Beethoven performance, correlating art and music for the XXXII Internationales Beethovenfest, Bonn, September 7 through September 29, 1986. Rehberger's performance was done to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in the outdoor Marktplatz of Bonn on September 13, 1986.
1980 "Sigmund Freud" for R. A. Becker, president of The Beethoven Society
1979 "Beethoven" for The Beethoven Society
1976 "Arab Warrior on Horseback" Saudi Research & Development Company
1965 Portrait of "Mama" Kutsher, Kutsher's Country Club, Monticello, NY
1943 Mural for St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church (renamed The Sunny Mt. Zion Church) Chicago, IL
1942 Two World War II murals in Union Station, Chicago, IL

1993 - 1972 The Art Students League of New York
1973 - 1969 American Art School, NYC
1966 - 1964 Old Mill Art Center of The Adirondacks, Elizabethtown, NY
1965 - 1963 The Painters Studio, NYC

1985 Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ
1984 Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ
1983 The Artisans Studio-Gallery, Dallas, TX
1982 The Artisans Studio-Gallery, Dallas, TX
1981 The Artisans Studio-Gallery, Dallas, TX
1967 Artist in Residence at Kutsher's Country Club, Monticello, NY

The Art Students League of New York - "Ten Lectures on Drawing the Human Figure" 1978 to 1991
Allied Artists of America, Inc., NYC 1991
Scottsdale Artists School, Scottsdale, AZ 1983, 1984
The Artisans Studio-Gallery, Dallas, TX - 1981, 1982, 1983
Community Arts Association, Inc., Allendale, NJ 1982
Watkins Institute, Nashville, TN 1982
The Pastel Society of America, NYC 1981
Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ 1981
The Society of Illustrators, NYC 1979
Audubon Artists, NYC
Bergen Museum of Art and Science, Paramus, NJ 1976
New Rochelle Art Association, New Rochelle, NY 1976
Wyoming Valley Art League, Wilkes-Barre, PA 1967
Long Beach Art Association, Long Beach, NY 1966

The Art Students League of New York
The Pastel Society of America, NYC (one of the founders and First Vice President, member of the Advisory Board) 1975
American Academy of "Taos, New Mexico 1980
Allied Artists of America, NYC 1972
Audubon Artists, NYC 1953

1992 Carnegie Hall Museum Benefit Gala Performance, "The Spirit of Beethoven"
1991 Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
1985 - 1973 The Art Students League of New York
1985 The Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, NYC
1983 Channel 3, Scottsdale, AZ
1983 The Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, NYC
1983 Oldfield Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1982 First American Center, Nashville, TN
1982 Community Arts Association, Allendale, NJ
1982 D-Art Club, Dallas, TX
1981 Chapel Downs Club, Dallas, TX
1981 Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ
1979 The Beethoven Society, Hunter College, Main Auditorium, NYC
1978 The French Library, Boston, MA
1973 The Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, NYC

1991 "Carnegie Hall at 100 A Place of Dreams" - Channel 13
1983 Eye Witness News, Channel 3, Scottsdale, AZ created a painting to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
1971 Eye Witness News, Channel 7, NYC appeared with several paintings created for the Beethoven Bicentennial
1970 Joe Franklin Show featured artist

1987 AT&T Presents "Carnegie Hall Tonight", WNCN-FM, 104.3
Interviewed by: Steve Mencher, Narrated by: John Rubenstein

Ellis Island Immigration Museum, New York, NY
1993 Ellis Island Oral History Project Participant
Donated to the Museum 1943 subway posters: "New York by Rehberger"

St. John's University, School of Law, Jamaica New York
"V. Man Against Destiny" (oil on canvas, 48x96)

The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC
"The Crucifixion" (oil, 34x40)

Lyman Allyn Museum of Art, New London, CT
"Nude Figure Studies" (ink on paper, 16"x22")

The Butler Institute of American Art Youngstown, OH
"Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tunney" (Lithograph on paper, 15"x20")

The Peter A. Juley & Son Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum has 19 photographs of his artwork.

The Smithsonian Archives of American Art does have original artwork: pen & ink sketches and pencil drawings and watercolors. Also, his original layouts done in casein for his two WWII murals in Chicago's Union Station.

To view the Juley Collection type: "SIRIS", click on Juley Collection, in "General Keyword" type Rehberger.

To view the Archival, Manuscript, and Photographic Collections type: "SIRIS", click on Archival, Manuscript, and Photographic Collections, in "General Keyword" type Rehberger.

"Elephant Walk" - 1954
"The Command" - 1954
"Gigantis The Fire Monster" - 1955
"Helen of Troy" - 1956
"Moby Dick" - 1956
"The Animal World" - 1956
"The Defiant Ones" - 1958
"The Old Man and the Sea" - 1958
"The Deep Six" - 1958
"Solomon and Sheba" - 1959
"Pork Chop Hill" - 1959
"John Paul Jones" - 1959
"Hannibal" - 1960
"David and Bathsheba" - 1960
"Under Ten Flags" - 1960
"One-Eyed Jacks" - 1961
"The White Warrior" - 1961
"Pressure Point" - 1962
"Cheyenne Autumn" - 1964
"Major Dundee" - 1965
"Leadbelly" - 1976

"Nightmare in Red" - NBC Armstrong Circle Theatre - 1956
"Sgt. York" - CBS Schaefer Award Theatre - 1959
"Coming at You" - NBC Sports, AFL Football - Sept. 4, 1966
"I Spy" - NBC - 1966

Abbott Laboratories - 1940's
Brown-Forman's (King Whisky) Distillers Corp.
Celanese Chemicals - 1961
Continental Copper and Steel Industries, Inc., (13 paintings) - 1953 Calendar
Dupont Textiles - 1967
Hearst Publications
The Marlboro Man, Philip Morris, Inc., (6 paintings) - 1959
Regal Shoe Company (N.W. Ayer & Son, Inc.) - 1953
Samovar Vodka
Sheraton Hotels (designed and illustrated) - 1954, 1956, l957, 1958
Timken Roller Bearing Co.
United States Treasury

"New York by Rehberger" Subway Posters, New York Subways Advertising Co., Inc. - 1948

1948 - 1961 Esquire Magazine (Staff Art Director)
1949 - 1961 Coronet Magazine
1950 - 1953 Colliers Magazine
1955 - 1958 Everywoman's Magazine
1969 - 1970 True Magazine


Replogle Illustrated Atlas, Editor: Kathryn McDaniel, Designer: Gustav Rehberger (pp.256, black & white)
Published by Replogle Globes, Inc., The Lakeside Press, RR Donnelley & Sons Co., Chicago, IL - 1937

"The Gospel Story of Jesus" by J. Benjamin Bedenbaugh and G. K. Wiencke, (pp. 224, color) Illustrator: Gustav Rehberger, Lutheran Church Press, Philadelphia, PA - 1964

"Luther" by Robert H. Fischer, Illustrator: Gustav Rehberger, (pp.192 in black & white, cover in color) Lutheran Church Press, Philadelphia, PA - 1966

"I Spy - #4 Wipeout" Novel by John Tiger, Cover art by Gustav Rehberger, (pp.127, cover in color) Popular Library, New York, NY 1967

"The Odyssey" by Homer, Translated by E.V. Rieu, Illustrated by Gustav Rehberger page 121 to 318
Reader's Digest Best Loved Books of Young Readers #14 (pp. 576, color) Reader's Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, NY 1969

U.S. National Open Table Tennis Championships Souvenir Program - 1962
U.S. Open Table Tennis Championships Program - March 1972 (Cover painting donated to Peoples Republic of China by U.S. Table Tennis Association)
Sports Illustrated, "Dempsey Tunney Fight" Original-Autographed Sporting Prints, Limited-Edition - 1974

U.S. Government Campaign: "Bonds for Us, Bombs for Them"
Two murals painted for World War II display in Chicago's Union Station from 1942 to 1946

1943 - 1945 Army Air Force, WWII Illustrations and Format Branch, Training Aids Division, NYC

1929 - 1931 Reuben H. Donnelly Corporation, Chicago, IL

The Art Directors Club of Chicago, Exhibition of Advertising Art - 1942
The Art Directors Club, NYC, Nat'l Exhibition of Advertising & Editorial Art & Design - 1954 & 1955
The Society of Typographic Arts - 1938

The Society of Typographic Arts (STA) - 1936
The Society of Illustrators (SI)
"27 Chicago Designers" (a founding member) 1936 - 1943

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: American Artist Profiles website - 2001

Austrian Kultur, July/August 1996 (Vol.6, No. 4) - page 7
"Gustav Rehberger" by Julie Charles

Art Speak, November 1995 - page 13
"Gustav Rehberger Remembered" by Palmer Poroner

Art Speak, January/February 1994 - page 10
"What are The Advantages of Figuration? A Survey" by Palmer Poroner

Marquis Who's Who in the East, 1993-1994, 24th Edition, Gustav Rehberger - page 761 A Reed Reference Publishing Co., New Providence, NJ

Who's Who in American Art, 1993-1994, 20th Edition, R.R. Bowker, NY
Gustav Rehberger page 963

Art Now Gallery Guide, New York, June 1993
("Deluge" oil on canvas; "Raging Elements of the Sea and Sky" oil on gesso panel)

Art Speak, November 1993 (Vol. XVI, #3) - Cover: "Maelstrom" (oil on canvas 67x55) "The Apocalyptic Visions of Gustav Rehberger" by Ed McCormack p. 3

Austrian Information, "Gustav Rehberger", November 1993 (Vol. 46, No. 11) p. 8

Art Now Gallery Guide, New York, November 1993, ("Awakening" casein on paper)

The New Yorker, September 21, 1992, Recitals p. 17
"Gustav Rehberger" (Carnegie Hall Museum Benefit)

Southwest Art, March 1990 page 36 ("The Crucifixion")
Creative Process, "Fine Art Can it be created by a "mere illustrator"? by Jack Hines

Southwest Art, May 1988 page 35
"Ben Stahl" by Betty Harvey ("A long-time friend of mine, Gustav Rehberger.")

The New York Times, March 31, 1985
"Nine Realists" by Vivian Raynor

The Phoenix Gazette, January 18, 1984
"Beethoven Powers Sweep of Inspired Artist's Brush" by Dave Eskes

The Phoenix Gazette, December 28, 1983
"Beethoven or Bust: Face Drawn to Fifth" by Dave Eskes

Petersen's Photographic Magazine in Canada, February 1978 page 58
"Men Observed" by Loretta Ayeroff

Parade The Sunday Newspaper Magazine - July 2, 1978
Walter Scott's Personality Parade page 2
Cover drawing: "Mother & Child" December 25, 1977

"200 Years of American Illustration", Random House, NYC 1977 Text by Henry C. Pitz, Published in Association with The Society of Illustrators (pp. 436)

"Telemachus in Search of Odysseus" (color) page 304
"Crucifixion" (black & white) page 275

The Illustrator, (Vol. 62, No. 3) Summer 1975 Cover & pages 3 to 13
Art Instruction Schools, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
"Gustav Rehberger Volcanic Expressionist" by Don Jardine, Ph.D.

Men of Achievement, (Vol. 1) Ernest Kay, General Editor,
Melrose Press Ltd., Cambridge, England - 1974
"Gustav Rehberger" page 869

The Monthly Illustrated Atlantis, Published by Atlantis, NYC, April 1972 p 18 - 23
"The American who captured Odysseus: Gustav Rehberger" by Julie Charles

"Those Great Movie Ads" Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein, Eleanor Clark,
Galahad Books, NYC 1972 (pp. 320, black & white)
"The Defiant Ones" page 29

Newsweek, February 22, 1971 page 64
"The Art of Rock" by Dale Denmark

The Christian Science Monitor, February 5, 1971
"Beethoven" by Louis Chapin

The Illustrator, (Vol. 55, No. 2) Spring 1969 Cover & pages 4 to 11
Art Instruction Schools, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
"The Many-Sidedness of Gustav Rehberger" by Jack Anderson

"21 Paint in Hyplar", a traveloan exhibition sponsored by M. Grumbacher, Inc., NYC 1968
Gustav Rehberger ("Eroica" Hyplar on masonite panel)

"The Illustrator in America 1900 1960's" by Walt Reed, (pp. 272) Reinhold Publishing 1966
"Crucifixion" (black & white) page 228

Advertising Age, July 27, 1959
"Marlboro Man, Switches to Paintings"

American Artist, November 1957
"The Robust Art of Gustav Rehberger" by Norman Kent, Editor

Everywoman's Magazine, December 1956 page 12
"The Christmas Story Paintings" About the Artist

Fantastic Magazine, September-October 1953
"Gustav Rehberger portfolio." Special Feature

Nation's Business, "The First Defeat" painting of story by Edward Linn August 1953

American Artist, November 1950. "A Portfolio of Drawings by Gustav Rehberger" by Ernest W. Watson, Editor page 44

Esquire, July 1949 page 33
Backstage with Esquire "Portrait of Ring Lardner, The Champion"

Annual Exhibition Record of The National Academy of Design 1901 1950 (pp. 624) 1948 "Old Barnes Mansion" (page 434)

The Annual Exhibition Record of The Art Institute of Chicago 1880 1950 (pp.1117) Sound View Press (page 740)

1946 Annual Exhibition of Watercolors by American Artists "Horse on Gesso" (tusche & litho crayon)

1943 Annual Exhibition of Works by Artists of Chicago & Vicinity "There Will Always be Light"

1941 Annual Exhibition of Watercolors by American Artists "Beethovia" (tempera)

"Art in The Armed Forces - Pictured by Men in Action" Edited by: Aimee Crane Published by The Hyperion Press, Distributed by Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1944 (pp. 232, black & white)

"Under the Wire" page 52

"Attack on Little Berlin" page 65

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