Michener Art Museum

Werner Drewes


Werner Drewes, photograph by Peggy Lewis, 1968
PAINTER, PRINTMAKER
BORN: July 27, 1899, Canig, Germany
DIED: June 21, 1985, Reston, Virginia


German-born Werner Drewes was considered one of the best printmakers of the 20th century. His early training as an artist was interrupted by WWI; he later said that the horrors of life at the front were only made tolerable by his sketchbook, a copy of Goethe's Faust and a volume of Nietzsche. After the war, Drewes began to earn his living selling his woodcuts, and in 1921 he enrolled in the famous school of modern art and design, the Bauhaus, where he studied with such great masters as Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky. After a year there, he left for a five year sojourn around the world, primarily studying the works of the masters. After emigrating to the United States in 1930, he gradually built up a successful career as an artist with his work entering many major institutions and collections. He also had a distinguished career as a teacher, with professorships at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, the University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis. He lived in Point Pleasant, Bucks County from 1965-1972, and showed work at Phillips Mill in New Hope.