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Frederick Schafer (1839-1927)

Frederick Schafer was born in Braunschweig, Germany on August 16, 1839. Schafer may have studied art in Düsseldorf, since his paintings resemble those of other Düsseldorf-trained artists; however, he is believed to have been self-taught.

He came to the U.S. in 1876 and arrived in San Francisco in 1880. After establishing a studio, he began exhibiting regularly with the local art association and the Mechanics' Institute Fairs. A peripatetic painter, he made regular sketching trips throughout the Northwest including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. During his last years he painted theatrical scenery in San Francisco and Oakland theaters. Schafer had a home in Oakland from 1880 until his death on July 18, 1927. His landscapes, which often include Indians, were mostly done before 1890 and number about 500. Due to alcoholism, his works are often uneven in quality.

Exhibitions: Mechanics' Institute, San Francisco, 1879-84; California State Fair, 1880, 1894.

Works held: Oakland Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Shasta State Historical Monument; Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; California Historical Society, San Francisco; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Hoover Institute, Palo Alto; Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, Utah; Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco; Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa; Yosemite Museum; Alameda Public Library; Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia.

Source: Edan Hughes,
Artists in California, 1786-1940

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