Carl John Zimmerman


Carl John Zimmerman


Winter Scene

Oil on Canvas

32 1/2 x 35 1/2 inches

Signed Lower Right

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Carl Zimmerman (American, 1900-1985) is a well known Cincinnati artist known for his mural painting, and oil painting as well as for his art teaching ability. Carl was born in Indianapolis in 1900. While in grade school his potential artistic talents were noted by one of his teachers, a Miss Case, who encouraged him to study art. He not only studied art while attending the Manual Training High School in Indianapolis, he also attended special art classes at the John Herron Art Institute and studied under Otto Stark.

In 1919, Carl went to Chicago to study teaching at the American Academy of Art. One of the means he found to help meet expenses during that period was to work as a monitor for the Sunday painting classes at the Academy.  Carl's first employment when he returned to Indianapolis in 1921 was to work in a furniture factory. Meanwhile, being anxious to break into the art field, he convinced the manager of an advertising agency in Indianapolis to let him work for no salary until he gained experience. Carl soon started receiving a salary, and by 1924 was doing well enough to get married to Caroline Richeson a former art student whom he had met at the John Herron Art Institute.

By 1925, Carl wanted to expand his art education. After examining the art schools available in the midwest, he chose the Cincinnati Art Academy to enroll in not only because of the quality of the school but also because of his favorable impression of Cincinnati as a place to live. His first instructor at the Art Academy was Reginald Grooms. He also studied under John E. Weis as well as Herman Wessel. While at the Art Academy he continued to do illustration work for the advertising agency in Indianapolis, by making weekend trips back to that city.

In 1927, Carl received his first commission to paint a mural, through the recommendation of John Weis. Later that year, Carl felt he had enough funds saved from his mural painting, his illustration work, and also from working in the Publicity Dept. of the Gas & Electric Co. to make a trip abroad. Altogether he and Caroline spent a year and a half traveling throughout Europe.

After returning from Europe, Carl started teaching at the Cincinnati Art Academy. He taught at the Academy until 1935. He painted portraits during this period as well as murals. Carl painted murals which now hang in Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Wilmington Del., as well as Cincinnati. He is most well known for his genre, figure, and mural paintings.  He died in 1985.