- Percy North
Gutmann, Bernhard (24 September 1869–23 January 1936), painter, illustrator, and teacher, was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Zadig Gutmann and Elizabeth Biesenthal, merchants. After the death of his mother when he was two years old, Gutmann, the youngest of eight children, was reared by his father, then sent to boarding school. At age twenty Gutmann entered the internationally renowned art academy in Düsseldorf, transferring the following year to the academy in Karlsruhe. Unable to find employment in Germany after leaving school in 1892, he joined his brother Ludwig to work as an electrician at the Piedmont Electrical Illuminating Company in Lynchburg, Virginia. After only three years in Lynchburg, Gutmann began to make his mark on the creative life of the city. In 1895 he became the first supervisor and instructor of drawing in the Lynchburg Public Schools and concurrently taught drawing and painting at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. He also founded the Lynchburg Art League with students from his private art classes. An enthusiastic and creative teacher, he introduced courses on art history and modeling, organized an exhibition of his work for the college, had his students design illustrations for a college handbook, and painted a mural, ...