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Collection Guide
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Friedolin Edward Kessler Art Collection
MSS.2012.09.28  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
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.
Background
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.
Extent
1.0 folio file drawers
Restrictions
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.
Availability
The collection is open for research.