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16" round, Porcelain 11136

Franz Arthur Bischoff (1864-1929)

Franz A. Bischoff was born January 9, 1864 in Bomen, Austria. In 1885 he emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Bischoff studied applied design, watercolor and ceramic decoration while in Europe.

 Having been trained properly, he found work as a china decorator in a New York factory.  He continued this type of work in Pittsburgh and later in Fostoria, Ohio, where he met and married Bertha Greenwald.  They had two children, a daughter, Frances and a son, Oscar.  Pursuing a job offer, Bischoff moved his family to Dearborn, Michigan, in 1892.  Before long, he opened his own studio, producing ceramics and teaching classes in china decorating.


Bischoff decided to visit California in 1900 and eventually relocated to Los Angeles in 1906. Upon arriving, he then started the design and arrangements to build a large and impressive home and studio, in the Italian Renaissance style, in Pasadena that was completed in 1908.


Inspired by the California landscape, Bischoff turned his attention from ceramic painting to easel painting -- he painted farms, villages, fishing wharves and coastal seascapes -- he traveled and painted in Utah, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and the coast between Laguna Beach and Monterey, California. During his career Franz Bischoff was recognized for a superb use of color and strong compositions.

Although he taught classes, produced ceramics and ceramic materials and continued to paint flowers, Bischoff devoted most of his time to the painting of landscapes and scenes of everyday life--from fields and farms to fishing wharves.  He traveled to Europe in 1912, remaining almost a year and visiting Naples, Capri, Rome, Munich, Paris and London.  He studied the Old Masters and the French Impressionists and sketched and painted in oil and watercolor.


In the 1920's he traveled to the Sierras and the coast of Northern California and, in 1928, the year before he died, he made a trip to Utah, painting boldly colorful scenes of Zion National Park.  His style ranged from impressionists through post-impressionistic, and later it even showed the influence of Expressionism.

His paintings can be found in the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, the Gardena High School collection, the Oakland Museum and the Terra Museum of American Art, Evanston, Illinois. Franz Bischoff died in Pasadena, California on February 5, 1929.

Biography adapted from the Lawrence Beebe Fine Art & Fleischer Museum biographies.



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