Biografie von John HABERLE (1856-1933)

Birth place: New Haven, CT

Death place: New Haven

Addresses: New Haven

Profession: Painter

Studied: apprenticed to William F. Hopson in New Haven; NAD, 1884.

Exhibited: NAD, 1887; Gills Gal., Springfield, MA, 1888; AIC, 1888-89; PAFA, 1888-90; New Britain Mus. Am. Art, 1962 (retrospective).

Member: New Haven Sketch Club, 1883 (founding mem.)

Work: NMAA; MMA; Yale Univ. AG; Detroit IA; New Britain Mus. Am. Art; Springfield (MA) MFA; Univ. Rochester Mem. AG; SFMA; Brandywine River Mus., Chadds Ford, PA.

Comments: Haberle"s biographer and discoverer, Alfred Frankenstein, referred to him as the greatest American master of the trompe l'úil still-life tradition and the Foxy Grandpa of Pop" because of his eccentric compositions. Most of his works were painted from 1887-91, and included paper money, stamps, tickets, peanuts, smoking paraphernalia, and other bric-a-brac. Around 1885, Haberle set up his studio in New Haven after a year at the NAD. In 1886 he was arrested for counterfeiting, and the government directed him to stop painting money (but he continued for several years). His eyesight was beginning to fail by 1898, yet one large work is dated as late as 1909. Forgotten by 1914, his collection was discovered by Frankenstein in New Haven around 1950. Signature note: He was sometimes playful with his signature, such as an example where he mimicked a newspaper"s typeface.

Sources: A. Frankenstein, After the Hunt; A. Frankenstein, "Haberle: Or the Illusion of the Real," American Magazine of Art (October 1948): 222-27; PHF files; G. Sill, "John Haberle, Master of Illusion," Mag. Antiques (Nov. 1984): 1227-33; Art in Conn.: Early Days to the Gilded Age; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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