We are currently in Baltimore for the holidays, so yesterday, we made a pilgrimage to the American Visionary Art Museum located in the Inner Harbor area of the city. Through March 1, 2011, there is an exhibit of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s “otherworldly” paintings, aptly entitled, “OUT OF THIS WORLD”. This was the first time I had ever seen any of Von Bruenchenhein’s work, and it really is “Out of this World”.
Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin in 1910, and worked in a bakery during the 10 years (1954-1963) that the bulk of his work was completed. Very early on, Von Bruenchenhein would paint on the panels of boxes that he would bring home from the bakery. Then, he moved into painting on canvas with brushes. But, in 1954, Von Bruenchenhein’s technique changed and he started to paint on board with his fingers. In 1955, he began to add a white or cream base coat and he would scrape the paint with bakery tools, combs, and quills which would reveal the undercoat, adding an entirely new dimension to his work. Finally, in 1956, Von Bruenchenhein had mastered his own technique, and he would spend the next 5 years painting like a maniac!
Von Bruenchenhein produced almost 1,100 paintings in his lifetime. Unfortunately, he was never successful in selling his work or gaining any recognition during his lifetime. It has only been in the last several years that the importance of Von Bruenchenhein’s work has come to be realized. As part of the Centennial Celebration of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, a huge collection of Von Bruenchenhein’s work is available in 22 separate galleries on www.vonbruenchenhein.com for download as high-resolution files! I recommend downloading a couple of these amazing pieces of art and having them printed and framed before the offer is no longer available!
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