Carl Gaertner was one of the greatest painters to emerge from the Cleveland School. Born in Cleveland on April 18, 1898, he graduated from East Technical high school in 1918 and attended Western Reserve College. From 1920 to 1923 he studied at the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art) with Henry Keller. In 1922, he entered his first May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art and was awarded a prize for an industrial oil painting. From 1925 until 1952, he was known as a pillar of the Cleveland School and one of their most prestigious painting instructors.

Gaertner’s subject matter was always drawn from the world around him. Early in his career, he focused on Cleveland and its environs. This interest never left him, but as he matured, his choice of subjects broadened. He painted watercolors and oils of Bermuda in the mid 1920s and began making frequent trips to Provincetown beginning in the 1920’s. Like other Cleveland artists, he culled inspiration from travels within the United States, notably trips through Pittsburgh’s dramatic industrial landscapes and Cambridge Springs in Pennsylvania, to the mountains of West Virginia, and to Cape Cod. From the mid 1940s until his death, he also produced paintings based on sketches made during train rides to visit galleries in New York City.

At the time of his premature death in 1952, Carl Gaertner enjoyed a considerable reputation as a master of American Scene painting. By the 1940s, Gaertner was represented by the venerable Macbeth Gallery in New York City and his paintings were exhibited in shows throughout the United States. In 1944 and 1952, Gaertner received the National Academy of Design’s highest award for individual work in a group exhibition, and his work was exhibited in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s May Show for 27 years. Gaertner’s works are in the collections of many prestigious institutions, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chicago Institute and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The reflective eye of Gaertner chronicled three decades of Cleveland and the landscapes of the Midwest and its people. It is all there: the growing might of industrial Cleveland; the mass-produced promise of the assembly line, giving way to a dawning awareness of lost freedom and the surrender of individuality; the love affair of Americans with nature and the ideals of Thoreau and Whitman and Frost; and the conflict between that love affair and industrial promise.

Gaertner was just achieving national acclaim at the time of his early death at the age of 54. A resurgence of enthusiasm for Gaertner and his works began in the 1970’s and has steadily increased and incrementally boosted the value of his work, with a fine rare example, “The Popcorn Man” reaching $250,000 at auction.

Works by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Watercolor on Paper Painting:

St. George, Bermuda #1, 1924 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Watercolor on Illustration Board Painting:

Barn Buildings Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Barn Landscape Carl Frederick Gaertner

Figurative Gouache on Masonite Painting:

Fresh Fish Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Canvas Painting:

Hog Slaughter, West Virginia Carl Frederick Gaertner

Animal Oil on Canvas Painting:

Hog Slaughter, Winter Provisions Carl Frederick Gaertner

Mills and Falls in Winter by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Mills and Falls in Winter, ca. 1930s Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting: Mill with Waterfall, Chagrin Falls by American Artist Gaertner

Mill with Waterfall, Chagrin Falls Carl Frederick Gaertner

Still Life Oil on Illustration Board Painting:

Still Life with Vases and Glass Jug Carl Frederick Gaertner

Tremont by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Tremont, ca. 1930s Carl Frederick Gaertner

Tremont Street by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Tremont Street, ca. 1930s Carl Frederick Gaertner

Coastal Scene by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Coastal Scene Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Watercolor on Board Painting:

Harbor Scene Carl Frederick Gaertner

River Bridge by Carl Frederick Gaertner

River Bridge, 1935 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Doan Brook, Cleveland by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Doan Brook, Cleveland Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Farm Landscape, 1940 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Farmyard with Red Barn Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Board Painting:

Moonlit Harbor Carl Frederick Gaertner

Figurative Landscape Oil on Board Painting:

Shreve Ridge Cyclone Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Flower Garden, Cape Cod Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Hog Slaughter, 1941 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Old House, Bermuda, 1941 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Masonite Painting:

Willoughby Coal Yard, 1942 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Cardboard Painting:

Bermuda, 1946 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Cape Cod Dunes by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Cape Cod Dunes, 1946 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Panel Painting:

The Fisherman, 1946 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Panel Painting:

Pine Point Spur, 1947 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Corn Hill Bay, 1948 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Masonite Painting:

Clyde Cove, Moonlight, 1949 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Coastal Landscape Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Illustration Board Painting:

Mining Town Study Carl Frederick Gaertner

Rock Creek by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Rock Creek, 1950 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Board Painting:

Cape Cod Moonlight, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Leavings, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Masonite Painting:

Tide Wash, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Woods End Breakwater, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Watercolor on Paper Painting:

Coast with Shack Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Masonite Painting:

Dunes Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting:

Lake Erie with Trees Carl Frederick Gaertner

Sailboat in Harbor by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Sailboat in Harbor, ca. 1930s Carl Frederick Gaertner

Still Life Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Still Life With Sansevieria Carl Frederick Gaertner

Figurative Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Three Figures Carl Frederick Gaertner

Figurative Oil on Canvas Painting:

Reclining Nude, 1932 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

Garden Landscape, 1938 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting:

Country Stream Carl Frederick Gaertner

Flats by Carl Frederick Gaertner

Flats Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting:

Forest Scene Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Board Painting:

Dune Shacks, 1941 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Canvas Painting:

West Virginia Wash Day Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Artist Board Painting:

A Bermuda Home, 1941 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Pair of Lithographs by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Pair of Lithographs Carl Frederick Gaertner

Still Life with Oranges in a Bowl and Two Jugs by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Still Life with Oranges in a Bowl and Two Jugs Carl Frederick Gaertner

Harbor Fog by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Harbor Fog, c. 1920 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Steel Mill at Night by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Steel Mill at Night, c. 1925 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Canvas Painting:

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The Bay, 1927 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Barn and Furrows by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Barn and Furrows, 1928 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Still Life with Yellow Vase and Japanese Painting by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Still Life with Yellow Vase and Japanese Painting, 1929 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Ladle by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Ladle, 1929 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Oil on Illustration Board Painting:

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Blue Barn Carl Frederick Gaertner

Icy Pond and Shack at Night by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Icy Pond and Shack at Night Carl Frederick Gaertner

Morning by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Morning Carl Frederick Gaertner

Provincetown by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Provincetown Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Actress by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Actress Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Storm, Bermuda by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Storm, Bermuda, 1930 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Allegheny River by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Allegheny River Carl Frederick Gaertner

Chartreuse House by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Chartreuse House, c. 1930 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Still Life by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Still Life, 1930 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Saturday at Chagrin Falls by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Saturday at Chagrin Falls, 1931 Carl Frederick Gaertner

St. Georges Bermuda by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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St. Georges Bermuda, 1932 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Wharf by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Wharf, c. 1938 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting:

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Blue Stone Backyard Carl Frederick Gaertner

Gray House, Cape Cod by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Gray House, Cape Cod Carl Frederick Gaertner

Mill Reflections by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Mill Reflections Carl Frederick Gaertner

New Snow by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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New Snow Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Paper Painting:

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Red Barn on a Country Road Carl Frederick Gaertner

Road out of Town by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Road out of Town Carl Frederick Gaertner

Rural Landscape by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Rural Landscape Carl Frederick Gaertner

Village with Trees by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Village with Trees Carl Frederick Gaertner

Ore Docks by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Ore Docks Carl Frederick Gaertner

Lumber Mill by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Lumber Mill, 1941 Carl Frederick Gaertner

30 Hours Leave by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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30 Hours Leave, 1942 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Sand Pit Quarry by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Sand Pit Quarry, 1942 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Watchman by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Watchman, 1942 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Green Sea by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Green Sea, 1949 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Firewood by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Firewood, 1949 Carl Frederick Gaertner

The Outer Cove by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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The Outer Cove, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Atwood's Cove by Carl Frederick Gaertner

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Atwood's Cove, 1951 Carl Frederick Gaertner

Landscape Gouache on Illustration Board Painting:

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Blue Mountain Gray Sky Carl Frederick Gaertner