Rescued Art 36: Lester Raymer “Circus”
Artist: Lester Raymer (American 1907-1991)
Size: 6.5″ x 9″
Medium: Linocut Block Print
This artwork was found at an Estate Sale in Eugene. Sadly a contributor of our community named Bryce Krehbiel passed away leaving behind a wonderful collection of artwork and ceramics. Bryce Eugene Krehbiel, 65, of Eugene, died Aug. 18, 2017 and he was on the advisory board at MECCA.
About Lester Raymer:
Lester Raymer, born in 1907, grew up on a farm just southwest of Alva, Oklahoma. Raymer worked with a variety of art forms beginning in his early grade school years and continuing throughout his artistic career. He received his bachelor’s degree in art from the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1936 to 1945 Raymer lived on his family farm again and continued to develop his artwork. Raymer met Ramona Weddle, his future wife, at the Art Institute.
Ramona was born in 1909 at the Brunswick Hotel in Lindsborg, Kansas. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago during the same time period as Raymer. After her graduation in 1936, Ramona came back to Lindsborg and taught in the Art Department of Bethany College. In 1945, Lester and Ramona married and decided to create a home in Lindsborg. Although Ramona assisted Raymer with the pottery during their first years of marriage, she produced very little art of her own. Her focus was to be supportive of Raymer’s work.
Raymer’s art was influenced by a number of factors. The circus came to Alva often during Raymer’s childhood. He worked for a poultry business where he did drawings and paintings in his spare time. The “Bible” was a source of imagery beginning in his childhood. Raymer’s painting professor at the Chicago Art Institute was Boris Aslov from Russia, and his art history professor was Helen Gardner, author of “Art Through the Ages”, long-time used as a textbook of American art. Raymer talked often of the great influence his trips to Mexico had on his artwork and of his desire to remodel his studio in the style of a Mexican home.
Raymer won major awards and international recognition with his religious artwork and liturgical commissions. He taught one year at Bethany College in the art department and then made his living from the sale of his artwork. He utilized a variety of materials to produce a diverse body of artwork. Lamps, candleholders, furniture, and many of the sculptures in the studio were made for the studio use, not to sell. His paintings were most significant to him.
Raymer was a studio artist in Lindsborg, Kansas until his death in 1991.
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