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ADOLF SEHRING

RENOWNED MASTER REALIST ARTIST AND SCULPTOR

(June 8, 1930 - March 4, 2015)

THE ONLY AMERICAN ARTIST COMMISSIONED BY THE VATICAN TO PAINT THE OFFICIAL PAPAL PORTRAIT OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

 

Adolf Sehring painting in his studio
Pope at the White House
Adolf Sehring painting in his studio
Adolf in front of the White House

ADOLF SEHRING was born June 8, 1930 in Russia to a Russian mother and German father, an art Director in the German Movie Industry. George Sehring, Adolf's father, was a master of many languages, a renowned portrait painter, theatrical designer for the State theaters and operas, as well as a designer of the elaborate parades which were popular during this period. In addition to a tendency toward self— expression in art, the family excelled in languages. Adolf himself fluently spoke 4 languages. Young Adolf won various prizes and honors in art competitions and studied at The Art Academy.

Father and son shared a hobby collecting rare butterflies and traveled wide and far. His early travels with his father exerted a strong influence on him, a fascination with nature and all living and growing things. This is perhaps the most characteristic quality of Sehring's art, the quality which makes his work fascinating to collectors.

Adolf started drawing at the age of six. By the time he was eight years old, young Adolf already won a number of local awards for drawing. Throughout his boyhood, and the terrible war years, Adolf was studying Art in Berlin and assisting his father in his theatrical designs From the age of 15-17, he won some of the most prestigious prizes offered in Germany. Also In his schooldays Adolf majored in Biology, particularly the habits of all living creatures.

Adolf Sehring painting in his studio
Portrait of Pope
Adolf Sehring painting in his studio
Pope being presented with the painting

In 1949 the family emigrated to the U.S. Adolf was 19 when they arrived in Philadelphia. Two years later, Adolf found himself in a U.S. uniform and headed to Korea, to fight for his new found Country. Although he was assigned to combat duty, he brought his paints along with him. Before long, he was transferred to Combat Intelligence to draw maps and to create strategic overlays. Adolf was able to paint the big-wigs, battle scenes and bridges. His greatest contribution to the Korean War effort was a series of drawings and paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. They were painted on battle-jackets, helmets, note-books and walls of bunkers.

Adolf Sehring painting in his studio
Pocahontas

Once home in Philadelphia, Adolf began teaching ballroom-dancing, but finally found a job designing furniture and wallpaper. Gradually he shifted to advertising and illustrating. In 1954, Adolf and a partner started, in Philadelphia, a very successful business devoted to designing and importing furniture and accessories for interior designers. He realized he was spending his talents and the best years of his life working infields other than Fine Arts, so he sold his share in the business and moved to Virginia and started a new life.

Adolf first met Pope John Paul II in a café years before he became the Pope, when he was just a Cardinal. Adolf started sketching the Cardinal and when he was finished handed the sketch to him. Adolf Sehring's portrait of Pope John Paul II was formally presented to him in the Grotto at the Vatican in 1979. Adolf Sehring is the only American Artist to be commissioned to paint the Papal painting of Pope John Paul II.

Adolf Sehring painting in the military
Adolf Sehring painting in the military
Photo by John Ferreiro

In November 1994, Adolf Sehring was commissioned to create the 57" life-size bronze of Pocahontas that sits on a granite pedestal in Gloucester County, Virginia.

Adolf Sehring always said when you look at one of my paintings, it's not just a painting, it tells a story...

Adolf Sehring passed away peacefully in Punta Gorda, Florida March 4, 2015, with his wife Mary and family by his side.

His works are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Grand Palais in Paris, U.S. Embassy to Sweden, Chrysler Museum, Mellons, Temple University, Museum of St. Mary's, Bayly Museum of Virginia, Hamilton Insurance Co., U.S. State Department and the Vatican, among many other private and public collections.

Sehring has appeared on nationally syndicated talk shows, such as A.M., Good Morning Washington, Afternoon, P.M. Magazine, Panorama and public television in Japan as a featured guest.

 

 

 

Sehring is listed in the following publications:

  • Who's Who in the World
  • Who's Who in Executives and Professionals
  • Who's Who in America
  • Who's Who in American Art
  • Personaggi Conterporanei
  • International Book of Honor
  • Art Diary
  • American Artists
  • Personalities of the South
  • The New York Art Review (3rd Edition)  

 

Two books dedicated to Sehring's art are:

  • Adolf Sehring and Realism (1979)
  • The Real World of Adolf Sehring (1989)

 

Adolf Sehring at the White House
Pope John Paul II and President Carter
Adolf Sehring's papal portrait
Adolf Sehring's papal portrait

Lithographs of his work are available through this website. Up to 2002, 'Tetley', his stately Southern Plantation, was his home in Virginia. Until his death, Sehring and his wife Mary resided on a 20-acre estate in a park-- like setting in Florida, featuring a lake surrounded by wildlife. Various bald eagles, turtles, deer and wild turkeys may be spotted near Adolf's luxurious home/studio.

Like the 17th century Dutch masters, Adolf Sehring transforms everyday scenes into poetry. His panoramic landscapes filled with nuances of detail and atmosphere, celebrate the countryside and extol the serenity of rural life. In his commonplace objects--hand-woven baskets, rail fences, rustic barns, and ordinary people become extraordinary. He is an eloquent spokesman for realism and one of America's most collected painters. While Sehring's art is in the tradition of Barbizon landscape artists, capturing a moment in time and recreating the exact hour of today in circumstances of light, his paintings are more than reproductions of atmosphere.

 

Gene Autry and Adolf Sehring
Gene Autry and Adolf Sehring collectively
donated $140,000 worth of artwork at
a charity event for Animal Protection

They are penetrating observations of nature and human character tingled with an uplifting quality. His work shimmers with a sense of discovery, a renewal of life, revealed with the brightness of his palate, and in the faces, which people see his canvasses. Part of the business of art, as Santayana says of music, is to remind us, and Sehring's paintings are masterful reminders of our rural past. There is nostalgia in the unspoiled slices of America that our grandparents knew in the still ponds, thick woods and flowered creek sides, in cloud skimming skies and gentle rolling hills.

Sehring's masterly canvasses cover the world he knows so well. His broad palate and array of bronze statues is unmatched in today's art world. They bring landscape, stillife, seascape, character study, children, and exotic wildlife into our personal world. Sehring was commissioned by the City of Gloucester, VA to create a bronze of Pocahontas.

Worldwide collections (private and public) of his art attest to his "master" status. 

The tremendous investment potential of Adolf Sehring's art attracted many international collectors:

  • W.E. Barns-Australia T. Kelly-United States W. A. Schanbacher-United States
  • D. Brandon-United States B. Mayo-United States Alexander Hamilton Insurance Co.
  • G. Crothall-New Zealand G. Michaels-United States -United States
  • President Bush-United States J. Nicklaus-United States R. Smith-Canada
  • B. Ford, Jr.-United States I. Nishino-Japan S. Suzuki Corp.-Japan
  • G. Hawrauke-Germany T. Pfeifer-United States D. Von Manteuffel-Germany
  • Mr. & Mrs. Chubby Checker, J. Kaywell, Palm Beach

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://adolfsehring.com/biography#sigProGalleria4748d9d56c