Hans Kleiber Biography

Hans Kleiber




Hans Norbert Kleiber, painter, etcher, illustrator, and naturalist, was born in Cologne, Germany on August 24, 1887. He emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1900, settling in Massachusetts before moving to Wyoming. Kleiber first worked in lumber camps before working for the United States Forest Service from 1906 until 1924. One of his duties as a ranger was to monitor the logging camps in the Bighorn Mountains.

Kleiber was primarily self-taught as an artist and it was in the 1920s that he began devoting himself to art. It appears that he first began to work in watercolor and oil but was producing etchings and drypoints as early as 1924. He traversed the mountains of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, and his subjects are drawn from the pristine landscapes and wildlife.

Kleiber's first exhibition of his etchings was mounted in 1928 at Goodspeed's Book Shop in Boston. His etching, Crossing the Platte, was included in the 1939 New York World's Fair exhibition, American Art Today. There was an exhibition of fifty of his etchings at the National Museum in 1944, and an exhibition of his watercolors was mounted at the Grand Central Galleries in New York in 1950. Kleiber was a member of the Society of American Etchers and the California Society of Printmakers. He received a silver medal in 1931 from the Printmakers Society of California for his print, Leaving the High Country. His works are in the Bradford Brinton Memorial and Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Library of Congress, Montana Historical Society, Sheridan County Museum, Wyoming State Art Museum, and the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Kleiber died in Sheridan, Wyoming on December 8, 1967. His rustic cabin studio in Sheridan, Wyoming was restored and is dedicated to his legacy.

Sources: Gary Temple, Bradford Brinton Memorial and Museum, Thomas Minckler Fine Art, AskART