Exploring the Legacy of Dietrich, an Impressionist Impresario

The Swedish-American Impressionist artist Dietrich resolved to become a fine artists at an early age. Born Dietrich Grunewald in 1916, the young man studied art and worked at an advertising agency before coming to America to pursue a fine art career.

Gregory Dietrich, adjunct instructor, Interior Design, and the Impressionist artist’s son, presented a wide-ranging talk on the life of Dietrich at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in New York, on May 3.

After arriving in the United States in 1938, at the age of 21, the young Dietrich Grunewald worked as an etcher and a portrait artist in San Francisco, a naval draftsman in the Pacific Northwest, a scenic designer in San Francisco and Hollywood, and a wallpaper and textile designer in West Hollywood.

Twenty-five years after his arrival, a six-day exhibition of his oil paintings in Beverly Hills drew record crowds, making it the largest private exhibition the city had ever witnessed and paving the way for his future success as a fine artist.

But Dietrich’s journey was not without struggle: His life was marked by physical injury and emotional tragedy that took a toll on the artist and his loved ones. Dietrich’s presentation speaks of the artist’s singular resolve, unbounded by conventional wisdom and fueled by eternal optimism and the belief that the creative spirit can prevail during the darkest of times.

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