A celebration of Carl Schmitt—CSF Open House 2013

Thanks to all who made the annual CSF Open House on Saturday such a delight.  The perfect weather matched the cheer of those gathered to celebrate the life and art of Carl Schmitt.  It was wonderful to catch up with some old friends of the CSF and meet some new ones as well over a delicious luncheon.

CSF founder Carl B. Schmitt, Jr. announced a “new phase” in the Foundation’s development.  In order to devote all of his free energy to writing a book on his father’s thought, he intends to transfer his duties as president of the Foundation to the treasurer and Executive Director.

2013 Open House - admiring new painting

A friend of the CSF admires Carl Schmitt’s Woman and Guardian Angel (1924), one of three works given to the Foundation in the past year.  It is shown here in a frame by Carl’s brother Robert.  The artist’s large canvas, Nativity, done at the same time, hangs in the background.

Executive Director (and yours truly) Sam Schmitt offered a review of the past year, highlighting the publication of the coffee-table book Carl Schmitt: The Vision of Beauty, two successful local exhibits in New Canaan and Fairfield, Connecticut, and one exciting upcoming exhibit in New York.  He also spoke of the generous gift of three new works by Carl Schmitt now on display at the studio-gallery, including Woman and Guardian Angel (above).  Another work, Austin and Cello, painted in 1931, was returned to the Foundation after a period on loan.  The painting is in urgent need of restoration; its surface is now covered with a gauze to protect it from further deterioration.  The CSF is now seeking donations to return this impressive work to its original beauty.

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Austin with Cello, oil on canvas, 1931, 48 x 42 in.
This painting was first shown at an exhibition of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in March, 1931, when it was singled out for praise on the New York Times and reproduced in the review of the exhibit.  In the fall of that year it was exhibited at the prestigious Ferargil Gallery in New York, and at the Carnegie Institute’s Exhibit of Contemporary American Paintings in Pittsburgh the following March.  The artist considered it one of his finest works.

Dave Schmitt, the Foundation’s treasurer, thanked Jacob Schmitt, one of Carl Schmitt’s sons, for his generosity in the continuing renovation of his father’s former house in Silvermine, currently the home of the artist’s son Robert and daughter Gertrude.  Major improvements this year include a new roof as well as badly-needed trimming of the large older trees that shade the house.  The Foundation is actively seeking funding to restore the property as Schmitt knew and cherished it.

The upcoming year 2014 is a banner year for the CSF—the 125th anniversary of Carl Schmitt’s birth (May 6, 1889) as well as the 25th anniversary of his death (October 28, 1989).  Watch for news of special events commemorating these milestones in the next few months.

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