A note from Gustav Rehberger's wife, Pamela Demme, about the recent week when we looked at her late husband's work and career gives me an excuse to show you a few more pieces by the artist.
Pam writes, "I’m back in my office and just saw all the work you put up for Gustav. Leif, I’m floored. It’s a gorgeous display of his art. You did a wonderful job. I can only guess at the amount of work you put into it. Your comments after each illustration were perfect. He did worry more about “conveying mood and emotion… than getting the right kind of button on a shirt.”
"It’s ironic," Pam continues, "during the 80’s, he was told by some galleries to play down the fact that he was a former illustrator….or he’d be pegged as a “mere illustrator.” And now, the attention he’s getting on “Today’s Inspiration” is because he was an illustrator. At that time the art world looked down its nose at illustrators. The stigma hurt Gustav. He deleted “illustrator” from his bio for many years.
Pam also clarified something I had misread from my source material: in my first post I mentioned that "During the Depression he was turned down for two college scholarships."
In fact, Rehberger turned down the two scholarships in order to support his parents, brother and sister. "He was the only one working at the time," explains Pam.
Pam also answers a question from David Apatoff - who asked if Gustav Rehberger's personality was as fiery and volcanic as much of his work.
"Gustav was the complete opposite of his art," writes Pam. "All that volcanic fury was channeled into his art."
Later in his career, Rehberger would give live drawing performances accompanied by classical music. Pam still has many of those perfomances on video tape and says, "I was looking through my list of videos of Gustav's lectures and music and art performances. [Looking at those tapes] you can see how totally unpretentious Gustav was."
All of today's images have been added to my Gustav Rehberger Flickr set.