Peshtigo Fire Still Life
by Robert Schade
1861 - 1912
| Robert Schade was
born in 1861 to August and Augusta Schade, immigrants of Pommern ( now
Germany) in Terrytown, New York. In 1863 the family moved to Market
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the time of the Great Peshtigo Fire in
Robert Schade was age 11 and deeply affected by accounts in local
and state journals.
By age 15 he was studying art in Milwaukee at the Art Association. His exceptional talent was noted and he became the private student of Henry Viaden. The 1880 US Census listed him as "studying in Munich". After several years of study abroad and in the U.S., Robert Schade became a teacher at the Milwaukee Art School, and later, an artist with the American Panorama Company in 1885. He studied techniques of historical paintings under renowned German Artist Alex Wagner and the "Forest Fire" was his effort to document the Peshtigo Fire that had affected him so deeply in his youth.
Robert Schade made Milwaukee his home base for much of his adult life. He was a founding father of the Society of Milwaukee Artists (now Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors), and is credited with, and well remembered for, being instructor and mentor to many skillful, successful early 20th century artists. His work was exhibited in the Summer of 2007 a "Robert Schade: A Milwaukee-Munich Master" at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Prints and posters of his work are commercially available today.