Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Charles Lederer and Serendipity

Charles Lederer
(1912 - Springfield 1985)

Artist, woodblockprinter, chili-restaurant owner.

"Ferns and Ivy", woodblock-print signed and dated 10/59, no.13/20
(15" x 21,5", papersize 19"x 26,5")

When I discovered this print, subject, colors and perspective, it instantly reminded me of the palette and compositions of Australian printmaker Cressida Campbell (1960- )

"The Veranda" by Cressida Campbell

How this American print ended up in Germany I have no idea. It was love on first site from my part so I could not resist buying it. Had to have it. And it is interesting enough to appear as guest of honour on my Blog. I think.

It's not in pristine condition but that (some matline, foxing and staining) was allready noticed and written on the back when in 1961 this print was exhibited in the 21th Annual Color Print Exhibition of the American Color Print Society. Also earlier matting has been a bit narrow. Bit with respect to a, or possibly more previous lives, restoration isn't necessary to enjoy the craftsmanship and aesthetic modernistic composition.
one of the many famous films "other Charles" directed.

Researching the artist Charles Lederer on the Internet is very much obstructed by this other and namesake Charles Lederer (1910-1967) who was a rather important Holywood film writer and director in the 1930-50's. Almost 100% hits on this "other Charles".

Serendipity ?
Casper's chili restaurant , 100 years in Springfield.

This is the worldfamous-in-Springfield (Mo, US) chili-restaurant Casper's. It was started in 1909 by Casper Lederer (1884-1972) a former sheetmusic seller and run by his son Charles after Casper died in 1972. Besides famous for its chili it's also known for its collection of art (woodblockprints) on all walls and by the hand of owner/artist Charles Lederer. My family name (which is not all that common) on Charles' shed. Coincidence ?

This second woodblockprint (sold for $ 325) is all I was able to find on the artistic output of Charles Lederer. In both cases edition-numbers are low (15 and 20). Charles was married to English professor Dr. Kathy Gay-Lederer and died (he ended his own life) in 1985.
"Bowl", woodblock-print, signed and dated 18-4-1955, no. 6/15.
Charles Lederer wrote two books on drawing, one still available (reprint via Amazon) today.

As always, all information is welcomend !


  1. We all think about restoration for a couple of days then decide to spend the money on a new print.

    It looks like an arty West Coast interior. I think he'd been looking at fifties Japanese. Nice. Shame about the condition.

  2. Thank you for your diagnoses and cure. I think you're right. So thank G. is not abnormal going through this process. I hope afterall the condition isn't all that bad. It was a bargain I think so no lamenting from me. In my mind I've allready spend the money on another gorgeous, etc........... anyway.

  3. Charles was my grandmothers half brother. I've just recently began research on him and his work and came across this article. While they are not for sale, her house has 20-30 of his prints and I'd be more than happy to send you pictures if interested. Thanks, it was great to see this article.

    1. Hello, How extraordinary. After almost 7 years. That's what this blog is all about. Please do send my pictures of his work ! And I'll write a new Blog article. Please send: gerbrandcaspers@icloud.com