Friday, June 13, 2008

Robert Heindel: "An Example to Others"

My introduction to Robert Heindel came by way of David Apatoff's blog, Illustration Art.
As David has provided these first three scans for today's post, it seems entirely appropriate to quote him here from that post:

"[Robert] Heindel was born in Akron Ohio and, with no art training except a correspondence class, worked his way up from tire advertisements in Ohio to car illustrations in Detroit to magazine illustrations in New York, where he became close friends with Bernie Fuchs and Mark English."

"From there, he single handedly carved out his own specialized niche painting beautiful images of dancers. He made an excellent living selling prints and originals of his paintings in galleries around the world and over the internet."

"This career path was a remarkable accomplishment. Heindel knew what he wanted to do and invented a career to permit him to do it. His example should be an inspiration to others looking for a career in the visual arts."

Robert Heindel passed away in 2005 at age 67. The images below, found at a website called The Obsession of Art, I assume must be from his later period. You can see how far he came from the work we looked at earlier this week. This must be what Heindel meant when he told David in Illustration magazine #15 about pushing boundaries and driving his business partners crazy.

Business concerns aside, this work radiates such beauty and integrity. Heindel had transcended all commercial constraints and produced some remarkably honest, personal art.

We can only imagine what more he might have accomplished had his life not been tragically cut short.

*My thanks to the many contributors of this week's look at Robert Heindel: Harold Henriksen, Tom Watson, Harry Borgman and David Apatoff.

My Robert Heindel Flickr set.


  1. Robert Heindel was and continues to be one of my heroes. I was fortunate to get to know him a little in the 80s and 90's. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Actually Heindel was born and raised in Toledo Ohio. St. Agnes grade school near Willys Jeep.

    My mother knew his wife Rose and her sisters. They were neighbors on Blairmont in South Toledo.

    I think Heindel worked briefly at a Toledo studio or corporate art department before moving to Akron.

    Heindel was a heroe to a lot of toledo artists and illustrators.

    Tim Langenderfer

  3. Anonymous8:36 AM

    I find this man has a very subtle sense of colour.
    And he must have been an Out-Of-The-Box thinker.

  4. Anonymous12:00 PM

    The correspondence course that got Robert Heindel started on his wonderful art career was the Famous Artists Course. He later became a Guiding Faculty member for the Famous Artists School and continued his role as an inspiration to many aspiring artists. He was unfailingly generous with his time, warm and helpful always, and we miss him very much.

  5. Heindel came to Ringling and spoke when I was in school there...awesome artist..I continue to be inspired by his paintings of dancers.

  6. this is my uncle bob.
    I miss him dearly and am glad to see so many people touched by his work.
    His wife rose is my aunt and she is just that, a beautiful flower who i adore more than anything.

    keep inspiring uncle bob.
    i love and miss you
    - emmy