Drawn to Life

Karl Drerup: Drawn to Modernism

 Born at the dawn of the twentieth-century Karl Drerup (1904–2000) embraced the progressive and modernist ideas of the era in both art and life.  He admired Paul Cézanne’s studies of the balance between art and nature and Paul Klee’s witty and unpretentious invented world.  He esteemed Käthe Kollwitz’s wrenching works of social commentary and was enchanted by the painter Arnold Bocklin’s fusion of naturalism and fantasy.  In 1928, yearning for a larger world, Drerup entered the Vereinigte Staatsschulen fűr freie und angewandte Kunst (the Unified State Schools for Fine and Applied Arts, now the University of the Arts) in Berlin where he earned an advanced degree in the graphic arts.

The school was “an institution that rivaled the Bauhaus as a center of progressive teaching” but promoted a middle ground between extreme experimentation and traditional practices of fine craftsmanship. “In [the school] all the workshops were available for common use, so that the students had the opportunity to move freely between the different departments.”  (William Owen Harrod)  This philosophy of education meshed well with Drerup’s intense curiosity and ability to quickly absorb new media, techniques and processes into his artistic repertoire and allowed his innate drive toward meticulous workmanship to flourish.

Educational Materials

The University provides students and families opportunities to learn about the work and career of Karl Drerup by providing educational materials.

Karl Drerup: Drawn to Life Catalog: Drerup Drawing catalog_2010_

  1. Memories of Karl
  2. Share Your Memories of Karl


  1. http://www.mcgowanfineart.com/drerup.html
  2. http://www.karldrerup.eu/
  3. http://www.enamelarts.org/artists-pages/collection-artist-karl-drerup.php 
  4. GK_Artikel_Drerup

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