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Herbert Grunwaldt [1928–2014]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

GRUNWALDT, Herbert [1928–2014]

“Aus Alter Seemanns-zeit” /

etching / 1977 / signed

21.5 cm by 30 cm (image) / unknown edition

“Shanty ‘Shenandoah'” / 

etching / 1969 / signed

20.5 cm by 37 cm (image) / #17 of 50

A website established to represent the artist’s estate includes this biography, here translated from the German:

“The Hamburg artist Herbert Grunwaldt began his artistic career by studying at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. There he studied free art with the lecturers Willy Titze, Wilhelm Grimm and Alfred Mahlau.

“Inspired by the special feeling of nature but also by observing romantic genres, such as the way of life of the Sinti and Roma and the atmosphere of circus performances in his childhood, to impressions from literature and music, an artistic journey from the naturalistic to the surreal emerges. Thus in his work clear observation is mixed with fantastic interpretation. His pictures thus become creative translations.

“In addition, Herbert Grunwaldt was inspired by Nordic landscapes. His artistic sensitivity towards maritime motifs is particularly evident in his depictions of ships, which have a very special aesthetic. He was a master of the line and so his entire work is characterized by uncompromising clarity. Of particular note is his masterful watercolor technique, which shows a wide range between graphic drawing and painterly overall composition!

“In addition to his personal involvement in the benefit exhibitions for Amnesty International, Herbert Grunwaldt’s works are presented in the form of exhibitions and publications.”

Max Pollak [1886–1970]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

POLLAK, Max [1886–1970]

“Wien, Notsteg Uber den Donaukanal” / Vienna, Emergency Pier Over the Danube Canal


mixed technique intaglio / ed. unknown

25 3/8 inches by 31 inches (image)

Born in Prague, while it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pollak was educated in Vienna. This print was part of the Austrian record of World War I — think of it as something like a war-time WPA. The Nazis subsequently destroyed much of Pollak’s work as “degenerate Jewish art”. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1927.

This poignant and history-laden work is on loan from the collection of Temple Emanu-El.

The Milwaukee Road


The rail crossing guard house has gone the way of the caboose.

As late as 1971, something akin to these lollypops stood on the west side of Broadway in downtown Fargo: a shack, probably no larger than six-by-eight — just big enough for a chair and writing shelf — braced at the top of a substantial post. I barely recall its access, more ladder than stair, though I also cannot remember seeing anyone inside it, ever. I suspect the obligation for it to be occupied had expired and the outhouse-on-a-stick disappeared soon after.

When the Milwaukee Road reached Agincourt isn’t settled. Nor do we know whether an earlier line had formed, one to be acquired by the larger line when it saw appreciable traffic — and revenue. So I can’t say with any assurance when a guard might have kept watch where Broad street crossed the railway at the south edge of town; whether his shack would have been something unique, jerrybuilt, eccentric or whether it might have been a stock, pattern-book design, a corporate predictability. It could easily have looked something like either of these: