How did you get interested in art?
In retrospect it appears that the action of these individuals had been orchestrated by a higher force to form my creative development:
MY FATHER, who drew rather well, wanted to become an artist. But his father, a state employee (customs official), would not have a “starving artist” in his family. So my father became a municipal clerk. However, he never lost his interest in and love for drawing and often drew pictures for me, mostly of animals.
MISS FRICKEY, my first grade teacher in Syracuse, NY, discovered my love for drawing that, undoubtedly, had been passed on to me by my father. In an arranged meeting, Miss Frickey pointed out to my mother that her son was talented and that she should nurture that talent.
HERR KRAUSS, my art teacher in gymnasium (German high school) early discovered my love for drawing and painting. With great care and deliberation he set out to cultivate my artistic development. When I was 12 or 13 years old he secretly showed me reproductions of the “Forbidden Art” done by so-called “degenerate artists,” according to the then-prevailing Nazi doctrine. He showed me the works done by the German Expressionists and the Abstract Artists, all widely respected artists not at all degenerate, of course. But, for this act of defiance Herr Krauss could have been dismissed or worse. His courageous act opened my eyes to the beauty of German Expressionism and Abstract Art. In addition, Herr Krauss demonstrated his trust in me.
PROFESSOR SCHNEIDLER, at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, with whom I studied design from age 16 to 20. These 4 years were the most inspiring and exciting years of my artistic schooling. At the Akademie, I also met and related to my fellow students from various backgrounds. My artistic, spiritual and cultural horizons expanded. Schneidler’s message was, in short: as designers, we should shape in a responsible, noble and tasteful way all the things that confront us visually—the illustrations for a book, the color scheme for a shopping center, the shape of a coffee cup, the design of a poster, or the form of a typeface, for example.
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