August F. Biehle Jr.
Birth Date: January 13, 1885
Death Date: February 7, 1979
Artist Gallery
August F. Biehle Jr. was born in America to German parents. As a child, Biehle enjoyed drawing organic designs inspired by nature in his sketchbook. After completing a formal education through the eighth grade, Biehle began an apprenticeship with his father, who worked as a subcontractor for Rorimer Brooks, Inc. With his father, Biehle decorated the interiors of several estates, including the Glamorgan Castle in Alliance, Ohio. After working for several years, Biehle studied abroad in Munich, Germany, where he received his diploma from Kunstgewerbeschule, a respected art school, in 1905. He returned to Cleveland, Ohio to work for Sherwin Williams as a decorative artist. Biehle also took classes at the Cleveland School of Art and later revisited Munich in 1911 to study drawing and painting extensively at the Royal Academy. In 1921, Biehle married Mary Wessler, and the couple had three children together. Around 1919 Biehle began painting with Henry Keller at Berlin Heights, Ohio, an artist’s colony near Sandusky. Working mostly outdoors, the painters of Berlin Heights conducted experiments with modern design and color theory. As a result of his exposure to German Expressionism and French Fauve, Biehle developed a personal style of painting that utilizes rich, evocative colors and expressive shapes. Biehle contributed paintings of both urban and rural Ohio to the American Scene movement of the 1920s and 1930s. Unlike the conventional realism of American Scene paintings, Biehle rendered this vision of rural Ohio in a unique style that fuses the whip lashing line of Jugendstil with the geometric planes of Cubism and the “blue outline” of Berlin Heights. Though originally known for his landscapes, Biehle also created portraits and murals for the WPA. Later in his career, Biehle painted abstractly. He frequently exhibited works with fellow artists Frank Wilcox and Paul, and his paintings were so frequently accepted for the juried May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art that he was honored with Emeritus Nonjury Entrant Status. His works have been collected by numerous galleries and museums including the National Gallery of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Butler Museum, and the Whitney Museum in New York City.