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Karl Fortess Portrait

Karl Fortess

Also Known as: Karl Eugene Fortess, Karl E. Fortess

Antwerp, Belgium 1907

Woodstock, New York 1993

Active in:

  • Woodstock, New York

Photo Caption:
Karl Fortess at art reception (far right), around 1948. Unidentified photographer, from Konrad and Florence Ballin Cramer papers, courtesy Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Biography

Karl Fortess came to America from Belgium and studied art in Chicago and New York. In 1937 the Works Progress Administration sent him and several other artists to Alaska to document the towns, villages, and remote wilderness landscapes (Pemberton, “Alaska art museum collects WPA’s Depression works from the territory,” Columbia Daily Tribune, November 9, 2003). Fortess taught at many different schools, including Boston University School of Fine Art, where he also created an archive of interviews with more than two hundred and fifty American artists.