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Voldemars Gutmanis (1904-1988)

Voldemars (Vold) Gutmanis was born in Latvia on October 23, 1904.  In his early youth he observed beautiful Latvian landscape scenes and worked to capture them in colorful paintings.  Gutmanis studied under V. Purvites at the Latvian State Academy of Art.  After graduating with the degree of Fine Artist-Painter, he organized an exhibition of his paintings at Ogre, where he experienced both artistic and material successes. 


Unfortunately, World War II interpreted his career as an artist.  He was brought to a camp of foreign laborers in Germany, where he had to do hard physical work together with other foreigners.  


Gutmanis arrived at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota in the late 1940s as a World War II refugee.  After working as a painter of buildings for the grounds crew, he was hired to teach art classes at the college. 


Given his love of nature, it was not surprising that Gutmanis specialized in painting colorful, picturesque landscapes.  What was surprising, was his painting technique.  He actually painted with both hands; holding in his right hand the brush and in his left the palette knife.  Working rhythmically with both hands, he skillful created fully accomplished paintings.


Gutmanis' artwork has found its way to many countries including: Latvia, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and more.                 

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