The McMaster Museum of Art

    Media File
    AHRENS, Carl Henry von
    Date: Canadian, 1862 - 1936
    Remarks: Official website:
    Carl Henry von Ahrens was an artist, printmaker, illustrator, ceramicist, writer, poet and teacher, known for his landscape and portrait paintings and his ties with the Roycroft, Elbert Hubbard’s Arts & Crafts community in East Aurora, New York.

    1862- Born to Herman and Isabella Ahrens, February 15th, Winfield, Ontario, Canada.

    Moved to Nebraska City to open a dentistry practice.

    He began to paint at 24 in 1886 and soon gave up dentistry as a profession.

    It was at an exhibition of Carl's Meadowvale paintings that Carl met Colonel (later General) Malcolm Smith Mercer. Mercer was moved by Carl's work and aggreed to purchase all of Carl's paintings for the next three years, allowing Carl the financial freedom he needed to produce his best work.

    Carl began experimenting with printmaking in 1925, constructing a printing press out of an old mangle and reworked dental tools. He burned his used metal plates in the fireplace to clean the flue. The printmaking process was laborious and he was not strong, so his
    daughters, Sigrid and Chloris, often helped with any heavy work.

    He died on February 27, 1936 at the age of 74.