Gustavus Johann Grunewald

(American born Germany, 1805 - 1878)

Born in Gnadau near Magdeburg, Germany, Gustavus Johann Grunewald studied at the Dresden Academy and with Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840). He worked in a porcelain factory before immigrating to the United States in 1831. He settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he taught drawing and painting at the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies from 1836 to 1866. Grunewald remained in Bethlehem until 1867, when he returned to Prussia. He traveled through the Pocono Mountains, along the Lehigh River and Bear Creek, through the Delaware Water Gap, and as far north as New Hampshire and Niagara Falls, sketching from nature. During his years in America, Grunewald exhibited at the Artists' Fund Society and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Art Union in 1851, the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, and the National Academy of Design (1836 48), the Apollo Association, and the American Art Union, all in New York. Of his forty five known paintings, all are landscapes except for two seascapes. Grunewald is best known for his documentation of Bethlehem, which was established in 1723 by Moravian settlers from Saxony. The town was supported by large iron works, the ancestor of the present day Bethlehem Steel Company. Highly regarded as a local artist, Grunewald can be considered one of Bethlehem's earliest historians because his pictures of the town have been used as aids in the restoration that began in the 1950s. Reference: Peter F. Blume [exh. cat. Allentown Art Museum] (Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1992).