Charles Surendorf

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State Street, Columbia

Charles Frederick Surendorf was born in Richmond, Indiana in November 1906. He left Richmond to spend time at the Chicago Art Institute, Art Student's League, New York and two semesters at Ohio State University in the Fine Arts program. In 1929, he finally ended up, in his own words, "...rolling into Los Angeles seated on an orange crate strapped to a Model T Ford chassis." He moved to San Francisco in 1935, by 1937 he had begun his first painting excursions to Columbia where he eventually settled with his wife, Barbara, in 1946. Charles Surendorf's early prints were woodblock, but he soon moved to a process he called "Linoleum Engravings." Unlike the usual linoleum block that is soft, Surendorf used "battleship" linoleum which he then further hardened by freezing. The hardness closely approximated wood end-grain block. He then used steel engraving tools to engrave rather than cut the block. His prints were highly regarded. A list of print titles and dates prepared after his death shows 250 prints from as early as 1934 and as late as 1971. In 1959 Art Digest called him one of the top twenty-five woodblock artists of the world. Charles Surendorf died of lung cancer in May 1979 at his home in Columbia. He wrote to friends just months before his death: "It is evening and the Mother Lode was never before garbed in such lush green. The rains came early this year and started again yesterday evening...riddling the roof of my bedroom tin with such pleasant music it seemed a shame to sleep."

Lode Lynching
$350 SOLD

St. Anne's
2nd. ed.
$250 unframed

Old Miner's Cabin
3rd. ed.
$375 newly framed

"The Genuis"

"Sonora Scene"
first edition
$450 newly framed

"Motherlode Landscape"

"Skippers Canyon"
first edition

"Sidewalk Cafe"

"Tahitian Church"
first edition

The photos above are examples of the artist's work. The Vault Gallery currently carries additional work by this artist.