Gustav Wolff (German/American 1863-1935)
Born in Germany in 1863 and raised in America, Gustav Wolff became known for his Impressionist and Tonalist landscapes that celebrated his profound love of nature, as well as the city of St. Louis. Wolff thought that St. Louis had “the prettiest composition in scenery of the whole world” and that its streets rivaled the charms of any of the “old romantic streets in Italy.” He was likely to be found every Sunday painting and sketching in the open air. The St. Louis Republic, noted in 1906, that he painted “in a low key, in dull grays and browns with a note of harmonious color.”
Wolff studied at the School of Fine Arts in St. Louis under Paul Cornoyer. He worked periodically as a sign painter before spending two years in Holland studying the Dutch Old Masters. He was a frequent exhibitor with the St. Louis Artist’s Guild, the Society of Western Artists, and the Two by Four Club. In 1906, two of his canvasses were chosen for the Paris Salons. Wolff also participated in exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Society of Independent Artists, 1920-21, 1929; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual, 1905 and 1912. In 1917, Wolff relocated to New York to paint grittier scenes of industrial and urban landscapes.