Anton Schutz

German (1894-1977)
Artist, later art publisher and founder of New York Graphic Society. Grew up outside of Trier, Germany, and was recognized early on as a talented young artist. In 1914, Schutz was drafted into the German army and served with distinction in Flanders, East Galicia, reaching the rank of corporal. His experiences in the First World War had a profound effect on him that increased his pacifist leanings. Upon returning from war, he resumed his art and moved to Munich. His early artistic career was known for oil paintings of traditional German landscapes which focused on historic architecture of the German speaking world. In Munich, he simultaneously attended both the Art Academy and the Technical University for architectural studies. Under Hermann Groeber, he learned the skill of copperplate etching and began etching hundreds of cityscapes across Germany. His etchings sold well in Germany from 1918-1922, particularly in the galleries of Munich. In Munich, Schutz witnessed first hand the economic crisis of 1923 and the early rise of the Nazi party under Adolph Hitler. His apartment window faced out directly to the Feldherrnhalle where Hitler tried to violently overthrow the Weimar Republic in November 1923. Although socially and economically successful in Munich, he emigrated in February 1924 to New York City after destroying all of his copperplates used to print his German etchings. In New York, he immediately became a successful etcher, known for his technical skills and portrayals of American city life on the eastern seaboard. His depictions of the modern progressive city were so impressive, that the newly formed USSR invited him to Moscow to produce similar etchings. After returning from Moscow in 1928, he also toured Europe as an “American” artist. His primary subject was the architecture and city life of New York with emphasis on Manhattan and Brooklyn. His portrayals of New York City are renowned for his sense of progress and his ability to capture of the grandeur of the modern city. After only being in the USA for a short time, Schutz was able to capture the American spirit of New York City in the 1920s so remarkably that his New York etchings are still highly sought after today. Their style and the spirit of the time that they invoke represent how the immigrant sees the progress of the modern American metropolis. Despite his successes in the art world in the USA, the coming war and the waning interest in black and white etchings drove him to shun art production in 1939. As founder of the New York Graphic Society, he turned his attention to high quality art reproduction. The NYGS produced many books highlighting European masters in full color from 1925-1966. The NYGS was contracted in 1949 by the United Nations through UNESCO to publish the World Art Series. Schutz traveled the world from 1949-1961 documenting world art for the United Nations. Schutz died on October 6, 1977 in New York. His papers and art are housed in the Smithsonian, and examples of his art are housed in the Uffizi, National Gallery in Paris, are collected by private collectors and sold in many galleries. His representation of the American Spirit in the 1920s and 1930s is still recognized today as being wholly unique and his work documenting world art is valued and preserved through the United Nations World Art Series. http://www.washjeff.edu/german/antonschutz/about_anton_schutz.htm