Friedolin Kessler--A View of the California Missions through Art
Artist, Friedolin Kessler (1913-1995) was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 12, 1913, the only son of Czech and German parents. At age 16 he entered art school at Washington University in St. Louis. After he graduated he joined the Missouri Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and in 1936 with his camp he was relocated to California. The camp settled in the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park. As the resident artist of the camp he was hired to document life in the CCC. His forte was linoleum cuts, but he also worked with oil and acrylic, as well as having talent in wood art and mosaics.
In 1938 Kessler took a bicycle trip visiting every California Mission in the state, which he sketched and photographed and later produced beautiful linoleum cuts of each mission. The resulting prints were exhibited around California and at the World’s Fair in Treasure Island and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Kessler reproduced these images into greeting cards and the book on display and surrogate digital images illustrate his talent in linoleum cut printmaking.