George von Physter Biography

George von Physter

American

1909-1986

Biography

George von Physter came by his talents naturally. His mother was an artist and he couldn't remember a time when he was not able to draw. Despite this, his chosen profession was music and he became a bass player with the Chicago theater and jazz bands. His natural bent towards the graphic arts led him to study with Hubert Rupp of the Chicago Art Institute. When the need for art materials drove him to sell his instruments, he knew that his choice had been made. Thus began the lean years of an emerging artist. He traveled throughout the United States, drawing and painting in various mediums, constantly exploring new methods and techniques. For a time he worked as a set designer of the United Artists Studios, but his goal was to excel in fine arts and he never deviated long form this path. He became interested in lithography and with the meticulous thoroughness, which characterized his work, mastered the process.

During his career as a musician he made many sketches and drawings of the jazz scene, abruptly the subject and medium coalesced, and the result was a series of black and white lithographs based upon his intimate knowledge of jazz. These were immediately successful and brought the artist national recognition. They were reproduced in the Time, Life and Downbeat magazines. His first glimpse of Pigeon Point Lighthouse, soaring into the sky of he coast highway 1, between Monterey and San Francisco, ignited the spark which resulted in a series of California Lighthouse paintings. The lighthouses are viewed as a sailor might see them, according to their usefulness. In George von Physter's opinion, this was the most important feature of their beauty. George von Physter died in 1986 .