Charles A.A. Dellschau /   Charles August Albert Dellschau

United States 1830 - 1923

Painting, Collage, Drawing

Charles A.A. Dellschau
Charles August Albert Dellschau
United States
January 9, 2016
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Charles A.A. Dellschau was an American artist born in Prussia in 1830. He is best known as one of the earliest known outsider artists in America.

Art by Charles A.A. Dellschau

Excerpts from Recollections Real and Speculative Work on Ideas and Friends in for Higher Aims, long gone by, 1899
Charles A.A. Dellschau – Excerpts from Recollections Real and Speculative Work on Ideas and Friends in for Higher Aims, long gone by, 1899

Charles A.A. Dellschau came to Texas from Prussia in 1853. He was a butcher by occupation, and had only started making art after his retirement in 1899. While he was in California during the 1850’s, he joined the Sonora Aero Club. There are no historical data which proves that Dellschau even was in California, but people and places mentioned in his diaries suggests that he in fact was present there in that particular time. The Club was a group of people who shared a passion towards the possibility that humans could be flying, so the most of artworks are about flight machines.

Art by Charles A.A. Dellschau

Plate 2008 Somersrondo, 1909 - Plate 4348 Aero Nix, 1919
Charles A.A. Dellschau – Plate 2008 Somersrondo, 1909 / Plate 4348 Aero Nix, 1919

It is only by sheer luck that his work is known. After his death, all of his work was stored in a Stelzig family house, where the artist spent his last years. The house caught on fire in the 60’s, and only by miracle did those old pages full of beautiful art survive. After the discovery of the artworks, a lot of attention was given to exploring if the Sonora Aero Club really existed, or if it all was imagined by Dellschau. In the end, there were twelve books with about two thousand pages containing amazing drawings, collages and representational paintings. Dellschau showed us that you are never too old to start making art, and that is of utmost importance to dream, for where would we be today without all of those dreamers in the past?

Art by Charles A.A. Dellschau

Excerpt from Erinnerungen, 1900 - detail
Charles A.A. Dellschau – Excerpt from Erinnerungen, 1900 – detail

He is represented by Stephen Romano Gallery in New York, USA.

Charles A.A. Dellschau lived and worked in Texas, USA.

All images courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Till It's GoneThe Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
2015Opus HypnagogiaMorbid Anatomy Museum, New York
2015Lexicon InfernaliStephen Romano Gallery, New York
2015Charles Dellschau (1830 - 1923): American VisionaryStephen Romano Gallery, New York
2014The Metro ShowNew York, Stephen Romano Gallery, New York
2014Welcome To The DreamtimeStephen Romano Gallery, New York
2014Mysterium CosmograhicumStephen Romano Gallery, New York
2014Abundae Cornu CopeaStephen Romano Gallery, New York
2013Farfetchedcurated by Roger Manley and Tom Pattersen, Gregg Art Museum
2013Restless IICavin Morris Gallery, New York
2013PULSE Art Fair New York 2013Stephen Romano Booth B6
2013Outsider Art Fair Paris 2013Cavin Morris Gallery
2012Darker Stars: The Roots of Steampunk ArtCavin Morris Gallery, New York
2012Jubilation/Rumination: Life, Real and ImaginedAmerican Folk Art Museum
2012Collectors of SkiesAndrew Edlin Gallery, New York
2011Outsider Art FairStephen Romano Booth #11, New York NY
2011Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the CollectionMenil Collection, Houston, TX
2011All Things RoundAmerican Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
2010Museum of EverythingPinacoteca Agnelli, Turin, Italy
2009Artists Books Through Time: Vol. 1Cavin Morris Gallery, New York
2009Museum of EverythingLondon, England
2009Museum of EverythingParis, France
2008Flights of ImaginationWitte Museum, San Antonio
2008ARTnowStephen Romano booth #21, New York, NY
2008Messages and Magic: Collage and Assemblage in American ArtJohn Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2005American Self Taught from the High MuseumHigh Museum Annex
2005Create and Be Recognized: Photography on the EdgeSoutheastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA)
2005Inner Worlds OutsideWhitechapel Gallery, London
2004The Secret Life of Charles DellschauSan Antonio Museum, Menilo Museum
2004Dopes, Dupes, and Demagogues: Viewed by OutsidersLouise Ross Gallery
2002Visionary DreamersUniversity of Syracuse, New York
2002Flight or Fancy? The Secret Life of Charles A. A. DellschauSan Antonio Museum of Art, Focus Gallery
2002Eye of the World: Miniature and Microcosm in the Art of the Self TaughtAddison Gallery of American Art, Pennsylvania
2000Plots and InventionsRamapo College, New Jersey
1998Aeronautical NotebooksRicco Maresca Gallery
1996Wind In My HairAmerican Visionary Museum
1969FlightUniversity of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas