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Adolph Jentsch - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Adolph Jentsch (1888 - 1977)

Adolph Jentsch was born in Dresden Germany 1888 - 1977

Art Education
- Adolph Jentsch studied art at Staatsakademie fϋr Bildende Kunste, Dresden (awarded Königlich-Sächsiche Staatsmedaille). Further study in Paris, Italy and London with assistance of grants.

Short Artist Biography
- The son of a dignitary of the Lutheran Church; Adolph Jentsch grew up and studied in Dresden – at that time the centre of dynamic artistic developments; among fellow-students at the Academy were Pechstein, Grosz and Schwitters. Adolph Jentsch painted and exhibited in Dresden; worked for a while as an interior decorator in Bohemia. After World War 1, he settled in Saxony; despite his education amidst the revolutionary movements of modern art he was dissatisfied with the course that European art was taking.
- 1938 : Adolph Jentsch immigrated to South West Afica; traveled widely through the territory prior to 1947, when he settled at Brack, in a farming district not far from Windhoek. He found the South West Africa environment amenable to his mystic philosophy and devoted the rest of his life (40 years) to interpreting the vast, solitary landscape.
- 1958 : On his 70th birthday, a retrospective exhibition was arranged in Windhoek and a souvenir booklet published, containing reproductions of his watercolours and introductory essays by P Anton Hendriks and Otto Schröder; awarded Service Cross by Federal Republic of Germany.
- 1960 : Adolph Jentsch worked previously in both oil and watercolour, now concentrated only on latter medium.
- 1973 : Five of his paintings reproduced as stamps – the first non-commemorative stamps in South Africa philatelic history; subject of a monograph by Olga Levinson.
- 1975 : Disaster struck when an old barn on the farm on which Adolph Jentsch lived with his devoted friends, Mr. And Mrs Von Funke, was destroyed by fire. Always reticent about selling his paintings, the “Meister” had hoarded much of his oeuvre in cupboards and tin trunks in the private “gallery”, with the result that the product of 40 years, including some of his most important works, was lost in the flames.
- A documentary film on Adolph Jentsch, directed by Ogla Levinson, was produced by the Friends of the South African National Gallery in 1970. Four of his watercolours were reproduced by Orde Levinson in 1975.

Art Exhibitions
- 1938 : Adolph Jentsch's first one-man exhibition in Southern Africa, Windhoek.
- 1954 : Venice Biennale
- 1956 : First Quad of South African Art
- 1958 : Retrospective Exhibition, Windhoek (70th Birthday); South African Exhibition touring Holland, Germany and Belgium.
- 1960 Second Quad of South African Art.
- 1962 : “South West African Artists’, South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town.
- 1964 : Third Quad of South African Art.
- 1966 : Republic Fest Exhibition, Pretoria.
- 1967 : Prestige Exhibition, Johannesburg Art Gallery
- 1968 : Retrospective Exhibition, SAAA, Windhoek (80th Birthday)
- 1970/1 : Prestige Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum
- 1974 : Retrospective Exhibition, SAAA, Windhoek

Public Art collections
South African National Art Gallery, Cape Town; Johannesburg Art Gallery; State Museum, Windoek; Pretoria Art Muesuem; Hester Rupert Art Museum, GR : Rembrandt Foundation; William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley; King George VI Gallery, Port Elizabeth; UNISA; Pietersburg Collection.

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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