Karl A. Baumgaertel Biography

Karl A. Baumgaertel




San Francisco Bay Area-based Karl A. Baumgaertel was an accomplished salon photographer in the 1920s and '30s. Despite a prolific career, an exact date of birth has not been located (though a 1940 census report estimates around 1894), and very little is found on his life or education. However, it is known that he was a member of the Associated Camera Clubs of America (based in San Francisco) and the Pictorial Photographers of America (PPA), for whom he was also the Pacific Coast Executive for a time. He showed throughout the United States, including the Pittsburgh Salon of Photographic Art, the Chicago Camera Club Century of Progress International Photographic Salon (1933), and the Camera Pictorialists of Los Angeles. He was a charter member of the Photographic Society of America, and he showed at the Golden Gate International Exhibition of 1939. In addition to his professional camera work, he wrote the column "In Focus" for View Finder magazine.

His photgraphic archive is at the Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA, and focuses on cityscapes and landscapes of the West, with special attention to the San Francisco Bay Area and the geological formations of the Southwest. He died in San Francisco in 1958.