Thursday, April 21, 2016

Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr. (1906-1979)

Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr., was born on November 9, 1906, in Richmond, Indiana. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League, and Ohio State University. In 1929, he moved to Logansport, Indiana, and from there to California (in 1935), living first in Los Angeles, then in San Francisco. In 1946, he moved to Columbia, California, an old ghost town. Surendorf worked in all of those places as an artist, as well as in Tahiti, New Orleans, and the California desert.

In 1949, Charles Surendorf sent word home to his family in Logansport that he had married Barbara Stoner, a former model, beauty queen, and assistant curator of an art gallery in California. Like her new husband, Mrs. Surendorf was a Hoosier, having come from Goshen. The couple had three children together.

Charles Surendorf was a painter and a printmaker. In his younger days, he drew cartoons for his hometown newspaper. In the 1930s or early 1940s, he painted a mural of the Pottawatomie Indians in the Logansport library. Unfortunately that work was lost when the library burned in 1941. Surendorf won many prizes and accolades and had his work widely exhibited. He was also a member of many art associations and groups.

Surendorf was recognized in his time as one of the foremost woodblock/linoleum block printers in the United States. Charles F. Surendorf, Jr., died on May 28, 1979, in Columbia, California, at age seventy-two.

A self-portrait by Charles Frederick Surendorf, Jr., from 1935. This is an early example of his engraving. Others can be found all over the Internet with a simple search for his name. Good luck and happy viewing.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

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