Artist: Ferdinand A. Brader
(b. 1833, Switzerland; death date unknown)
Title of Work: George Dilger’s Brewery.
Material: Drawing on paper.
Dimensions: 40 x 58.5 inches.
Photo Line: The Canton Museum of Art.
Collection Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art
Ferdinand Brader’s George Dilger’s Brewery is one of many large graphite drawings depicting farming properties throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio completed by the artist. Brader immigrated to the United States in the 1870s and supported his itinerant lifestyle through the sale or exchange of his works for food and shelter at the farms he visited. Brader may have completed as many as 800 of these drawings over a period of twenty years. The artist takes a bird’s eye perspective of each property, giving a sense of great space in order to make the viewer the master of all he surveys. Brader’s draftsman-like style, executed in graphite pencil, maintains microscopic detail and precise composition. Geometric fields and simplified shapes of trees and buildings present a scene that seems drawn from a model railroad or playset. But Brader also enlivens the properties with humorous and animated figures—women gossiping in the street, pigs in the barnyard, sleeping cattle. Brader’s drawings have a dreamlike quality that transforms the pastoral into a small, visionary utopia, the perfect place for a wandering artist to spend a night.
–Madeline Gobbo ’12, Gund Gallery Associate