Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Alfred Czerepak

Alfred Czerepak
(1928 - 1986)

American painter and Graphic artist.


With Tod Lindenmuth's fishermens pictures in mind I cannot withhold this gem of a woodcut by one Alfred Czerepak. Obscured artist maybe, but he is casually showing, like Lindenmuth, many details of traditional coastal fishing. Hauling the net and the rich catch. The team of 8 hard working fishermen. Would I love to have a copy.

Johannes Franken also showing his Dutch nethauling fishermen. Of the same period. See my earlier posting on Franken.

And Donald Witherstine (1896-1961), Provincetown artist, choose fishermen and their nets for his woodblockprint

The saying Alfred Czerepak has has cut into the design (in Norwegian or Danish) translates: "when the fields are poor, the sea is rich". It makes you think about the conditions these men and their families worked and lived in.

Why Alfred (of Tjech origin ?) send us this Scandinavian text and which type of fishing (in Scandinavia it would have been herring, in more southern regions ansjovis ?) he wanted to show us I have no clue.

I've found a couple of nice paintings by Alfred Czerapak, in different styles. Remarkable is that special attention was given to every individual frame I've seen in all his paintings. As though every painting has been given a personally designed frame. Made from earlier used wood or old framework.

Please let me know if you know of more woodcut pictures by Alfred.


  1. I have a few copies of czerepak woodcut prints. They are posters from Gloucester's folklife festivals, signed. If you would like I could send you some photos. He was a close friend of my parents and they still have a number of his prints, paintings and carvings as well.

  2. Thank you, and yes please, send me the photographs and all you know about his life and works to do a follow up on him. I found very little details and no further printed art (send to:

  3. Al was wonderful and fun. Some may have seen him as quirky...I adored him...His work was grand..he was a very serious artist, a bit of a loner and was in some respects shy.

    A very tall man, maybe you'd say burly, he had a strong presence..A dark haired Slavic with a full mustache, twinkle in his eye and now and then as I watched at the gatherings of the more off-beat artists I'd think I had caught a smile!! He lived by a quarry in Rockport in a large brown building that may have been partly a barn or Quarry related...I do remember it fascinated me.
    Once I had tea with the woman in his life in this dwelling. I could feel a greatness of life around me. She too was fascinating, it was easy to feel I had transcended to another place and time with the excitement of conversations of life.
    Some may call it eccentric, eclectic; I only know it surpassed the world I had known.. In my mind, I was in Europe, I felt, in a Bohemian social scene and I ate it up. I was inspired to know all I could about the passions of real artists, their struggles..
    At the gatherings , in great old barns in Gloucester, music would break out, sea shanties loudly and passionately brought everyone together, great and beloved instruments sang to ages from wee ones to the grans and pops! We sang and ate the food many brought..and the wine I suppose...dancers would begin to whirl...Al was shy as I said...he did not think he was a great artist as he was...I am sure folks in the area squandered a painting for a bit of needed to survive for the next few weeks..

    Al had a few close friends and the rest of us respected this quiet passionate artist. His lady looked like an Italian Actress, outgoing finely made up almost gypsy like. Her smile and zest for life was grand and clearly she did love Al..

    These were my better days of life. i was young and very shy and somewhat new to the area. I felt I had found home. I was accepted to Vesper George School of art in Boston myself. at my interview all my favorite artists and art teachers were there to welcome me...sadly I became ill and never pursued it later..How could I be one of the great masters...

    too many REAL artists from that era were overlooked. The area was conventional and these beautiful artists were not..they are history to cherish. As AL is...
    I count myself blessed and a greater person from these wonderful days and these wonderful people who made up the community of a life never repeated.

  4. What a lovely comment Linda, thank you so much. It is very rewarding that finding my humble article (it was all I could find) about this artist you answered with such warm memories. It must have been a wonderful time judging from your pen. Even after 1,5 years I discovered Alfred it reached you in time. Thanks again from the Netherlands
    I happened to be sitting behind the computer when the email with the comment came in. You can find my email in the comment above. Please write to me if you feel like it

  5. I am the fortunate owner of an oil painting signed Czerepak. The frame is handcarved, some nicks and chips in it, but as wonderful as the painting. Subject is a woman playing a piano. Canvas has a small hole through its center. I found it a thrift store. An amazing treasure.