Arnold H. Ronnebeck

American , 1885 - 1947

Arnold Ronnebeck was born in Nassau, Germany in 1885. He served in the German Guards during World War I and earned an Iron Cross as a result of being wounded. He attended the Royal Art School in Berlin and in Munich and in 1908 he moved to Paris where he studied under Aristede Maillol and Emile Bourdelle.

In 1921 Ronnebeck visited the Italian coastal village of Positano and completed landscape drawings from which he did his earliest prints. In 1922, his fiancé died, and this tragedy coupled with his family's increasing financial woes, led him to emigrate to America. He arrived in Washington D.C. in 1923 where he lived briefly before moving to New York City. Ronnebeck’s prints from that period reflect his fascination with the energy of the cosmopolitan atmosphere and showed his abstract, precisionist style. Working mostly from photographs, he produced pencil sketches that served as the basis for his lithographs. Many of his prints were reproduced in “Vanity Fair” magazine.

Ronnebeck had his first solo exhibition in 1925 at the Erhard Weyhe Gallery. The exhibition was composed of drawings, prints and sculpture, sixty pieces altogether that expressed subjects that had interested Ronnebeck for the last fifteen years. Also in 1925, Ronnebeck went to Taos, New Mexico where he was deeply impressed by the landscape and the native people. There he met his future wife, Louise Emerson, who he married in New York in 1926. The couple returned to New Mexico periodically throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and Ronnebeck completed a series of terra-cotta wall reliefs of Pueblo ceremonial dances in Santa Fe.

The Ronnebecks settled in Denver, Colorado in 1926 and Arnold became the Director of the Denver Art Museum, a position he resigned in 1930. Ronnebeck produced numerous lithographs of landscapes and townscapes, and his prints were distributed across the nation by the American Artists Group.
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