Michener Art Museum

Charles T. Coiner


Daily Intelligencer of Charles Coiner, February 8, 1982, photo courtesy James A. Michener Art Museum archives
PAINTER
BORN: January 1, 1898, Santa Barbara, California
DIED: August 13, 1989, Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania


While Coiner expressed no regrets about serving "the wheels of industry", saying, "If we had better designers working with industry or with government, we might not have a better world but it would surely look better." He also felt his duty as an artist was to preserve on canvas "the unspoiled places left in the world" to better meet people's "growing need for tranquility".

Painter Charles T. Coiner was born into a California farming family in 1898. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago while working for an advertising agency. This led to a job with N.W. Ayer and Son, an advertising firm in Philadelphia, where he rose to an executive level and worked with such artists as Salvador Dali and Georgia O'Keeffe in conjunction with national advertising campaigns. His advertising campaign series, Great Ideas of Western Man, for the Container Corporation of America, integrated the works of Picasso, Dufy, and DeKooning. Coiner designed the Blue Eagle, the symbol of the National Recovery Act during the Depression. During W.W. II, he created defense signs and government posters. He was also a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Chairman of the Philadelphia College of Art, and member of the Art Directors' Hall of Fame. Known for his landscape paintings, he worked in a variety of media in a style he described as impressionist. His twin passions for painting and fly-fishing led to extensive travel, although many of his paintings were equally inspired by scenes from his own backyard at his Coltsfoot Farm.